IESVIC helps Canada and China develop renewable energy solutions

- Maria Lironi

Last month, UVic’s Institute for Integrated Energy Systems (IESVic) hosted the second annual Canada-China Clean Energy Workshop where 55 leading energy system researchers from across Canada and China got to know each other and explore collaborative research opportunities.

Arranging for China’s and Canada’s top researchers to work together makes perfect sense. China is an emerging global leader in renewable energy—especially solar energy. Concerned about the impact of being reliant on coal and other fossil fuels to meet its growing energy needs, China has set ambitious targets for reducing its greenhouse gases over the coming decades.

In Canada, researchers at IESVic are investigating entire sustainable energy systems—from the harnessing, storage, transmission and conversion of new energy sources to the delivery of services to communities and industries.

“The work that you are doing is absolutely critical to the future of this planet,” UVic Vice-President Research Howard Brunt told the workshop participants. “You’re going to help Canada and the rest of the world have a new roadmap to a clean energy future.”

That roadmap started with workshop discussions about climate change and the need for science-based solutions, but also focused on renewable energy, including fuel cells, smart grid technology and green vehicles.

While plans are already under way for next year’s workshop—to be held in Beijing—this year’s event is definitely being seen as a success.

“Researchers from both countries engaged in the discussions with enthusiasm,” says IESVic Director Peter Wild. “Many new relationships were formed between Chinese and Canadian researchers, and plans for a number of exciting collaborative projects were generated.”

Dr. Xin-Rong Zhang, an engineering professor at Peking University, says he liked the fact that this second annual workshop involved nearly double the number of researchers that attended the first one, as it allowed for more diverse topics. “The other difference was that industry participated in the event this year, which helped to make our objectives clearer and more specific.” As a result of the workshop, he is working on two new projects with Canadian researchers entitled “Next-generation fluids for solar thermal and waste heat conversion” and “Super-advanced small wind turbine.”

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Keywords: Institute for Integrated Energy Systems, clean energy, environment, China, research

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