Academics from the UK and China explore how efficient energy utilization can help tackle climate change

Academics from the Birmingham Centre for Energy Storage at the University of Birmingham and Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, China, met in Nanjing between 10 and 13 August to explore the role of efficient energy utilization in tackling climate change and meeting growing global demand for energy.

Academics discussed a range of topics, including energy conversion, transmission, storage and efficient utilization, and identified opportunities for future collaborative research.

Over the four days of workshops, links were also forged between early stage researchers, with the aim of developing a sustainable network to support research in the field of efficient energy utilization.

Group photo of Academics from the Birmingham Centre for Energy Storage at the University of Birmingham and Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, China at Nanjing University for a workshop on efficient energy utilization

The workshop was co-organised by Professor Yimin Xuan of Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics and Professor Yulong Ding , Director of the Birmingham Centre for Energy Storage at the University of Birmingham. The event was made possible thanks to sponsorship from the National Natural Science Foundation of China and the British Council.

Global energy systems are facing ever-growing challenges at an increasingly greater scale. The UK has proposed to have an almost entirely carbon-free electricity sector by 2030 and China, heavily reliant on coal and other fossil fuels for energy, has proposed to cut greenhouse gas emissions per unit of GDP by 40-45% by 2020 based on 2005 levels. Against this backdrop, the sharing of knowledge and expertise at a global level has never been more important.

Reflecting on the impact of the workshop, Professor Yulong Ding, Director of the Birmingham Centre for Energy Storage, said: “With global demand for energy continuing to rise and the effects of climate change being felt by communities around the world, it is more important than ever that the world works together to develop sustainable energy supplies. The knowledge exchanged and the relationships established at the China-UK efficient energy utilization conference will, I hope, help the world meet global demand for energy and address the unprecedented challenge of climate change.”

A total of 57 researchers attended the event. Of the 57, 34 researchers were from China and 23 were from the UK.

The University of Birmingham established the Birmingham Energy Institute to respond to the global energy challenge. The institute is working with national and international collaborators from both academia and industry to deliver co-ordinated research, education and the development of global partnerships.