Skip to main content
2018 UK-China Future Energy Systems Development Forum
Energy systems experts from the UK and China gather at the University of Birmingham

This January, the University of Birmingham was honoured to host the 2018 UK-China Future Energy Systems Forum. Co-organised by the Chinese Society for Electrical Engineering (CSEE), UK-China University Consortium for Engineering Education and Research and the University of Birmingham, the forum brought experts from academia and industry together to address the major challenges of the future energy systems development.

The main objectives of the Forum were to discuss the key challenges of future energy systems in terms of Energy Internet, Energy Integration and Energy Intelligence (EIᵌ);

  • Energy internet is a vast network that efficiently supplies electricity to anyone, anywhere.
  • Energy integration is focused on solving big energy challenges and explores how energy systems could work more efficiently both independently and with each other.
  • Energy Intelligence focuses on obtaining better value from energy data. 

The Forum strive to facilitate partnerships between the UK and Chinese industrial and academic communities so that that these partnerships can then lead on to future project collaborations. Furthermore, the Forum work collaboratively to explore new and innovative ways to promote sustainable partnerships on EIᵌ between the UK and China, along with China’s One Belt One Road Initiative.

The Forum was co-chaired by Professor Andy Schofield, Pro-Vice Chancellor at the University of Birmingham and Mr Mingliang Xie, Vice President and Secretary General of CSEE. Professor Xiao-Ping Zhang, Director of Smart Grid at the Birmingham Energy Institute was the Executive Chair of the Forum.

Keynote speakers and distinguished guests included; Mr Nick Winser, FREng, President of IET and Chairman of Energy Systems Catapult; Mr Sunan Jiang, Minister Counsellor of Science and Technology Section, Chinese Embassy London; Professor Martin Freer, Director of Birmingham Energy Institute and Head of School of Physics and Aeronautics University of Birmingham;  Professor Goran Strbac, Chair in Energy Systems at Imperial College;  Dr Xianzhang Lei, President of State Grid Global Energy Interconnection Research Institute Europe; Dr Tim Coombs, Cambridge University and Mr Ramsey Dunning, Cooperative Energy.   

When reviewing the session Professor Xiao-Ping Zhang summarised; this Forum presented excellent opportunities to discuss the challenges facing the development of the future low carbon energy systems in terms of the Energy Revolution. It has emphasised the need for us to work together when tackling the local and global challenges of future sustainable energy systems we are facing globally and locally.”


  •  EIᵌ consists of Energy Internet, Energy Integration and Energy Intelligence, which is a new framework vision for future energy systems proposed by the University of Birmingham. Implementing this vision would lead to Energy Revolution: Energy Revolution = EIᵌ = Energy Internet x Energy Integration x Energy Intelligence 
  • UK-China University Consortium on Engineering Education and Research (UK-China UCEER): is the first university consortium co-established by China and UK specialising in engineering education. The Chinese universities include; Southeast University; Beijing Institute of Technology; Chongqing University; Dalian University of Technology; Harbin Institute of Technology; Northwestern Polytechnical University; South China University of Technology; Tianjin University and Tongji University. The British universities include Queen's University Belfast; University of Birmingham; Cardiff University; University College London; University of Nottingham and University of Warwick. The Consortium was established over the past six months with seed funding from the UK Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and has been led by the British Council in China. Initially, the Consortium is focusing on innovative technologies in intelligent manufacturing and sustainable energy that will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions as both countries transition to a low carbon economy. 
  • The Chinese Society for Electrical Engineering (CSEE) is a professional organisation for electrical engineers in China. It was founded in 1934 in Shanghai, as the Chinese Society for Electrical Engineers. As of 2010, its members include over 120,000 individual engineers and over 1000 organisations.