NEWS US, China [can] cooperate on green energy in rural areas

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US, China coop­er­ate on green energy in rural areas

By MINGMEI LI in New York | Xinhua | 

Inno­va­tion in rural area-​​green energy devel­op­ment and boost­ing col­lab­o­ra­tion between the United States and China in sci­ence and tech­nol­ogy are being empha­sized at a “smart vil­lage” forum.

More than 50 experts, pro­fes­sors, local entre­pre­neurs, envi­ron­men­tal and social orga­ni­za­tions from many coun­tries are par­tic­i­pat­ing in the Insti­tute of Elec­tri­cal and Elec­tron­ics Engi­neers Smart Vil­lage Forum (ISV) in Shanxi province on Sun­day and Monday.

Par­tic­i­pants in the forum, titled “Green Low-​​Carbon and Smart Vil­lage”, dis­cussed envi­ron­men­tal gov­er­nance top­ics such as achiev­ing energy tran­si­tion, using advanced tech­nol­ogy to assist poverty-​​stricken regions glob­ally in access­ing afford­able and clean energy, improv­ing energy effi­ciency, and pro­mot­ing green and sus­tain­able development.

A new demon­stra­tion project in Changzhi, a city in south­east Shanxi province, was fea­tured at the forum, show­cas­ing the cur­rent progress and prac­ti­cal results achieved by ISV. The project has effec­tively incor­po­rated solar pho­to­voltaic power and clean-​​heating tech­nolo­gies and prod­ucts for residents.

The ISV work­ing group has part­nered with lead­ing Chi­nese and inter­na­tional higher-​​education insti­tu­tions to cre­ate energy mod­els and projects suited to spe­cific local con­di­tions in other cities such as Chongqing, Gansu and Heilongjiang.

Daniel Kam­men, a Nobel Peace Prize lau­re­ate and energy pro­fes­sor at the Uni­ver­sity of Cal­i­for­nia, Berke­ley, and his lab­o­ra­tory, have worked closely with schol­ars and stu­dents from Tsinghua Uni­ver­sity, Chongqing Uni­ver­sity and North China Elec­tric Power Uni­ver­sity to research renew­able energy con­ser­va­tion and intel­li­gent mod­els from an aca­d­e­mic perspective.


We develop math­e­mat­i­cal mod­els of the grid. There’s lots of inter­est­ing physics. There’s lots of inter­est­ing sci­ence. My part­ner­ships in China have been very pro­duc­tive,” Kam­men told China Daily. “Low-​​cost solar, bet­ter bat­ter­ies and smart sen­sors. We build mod­els that become real. My lab­o­ra­tory is very much based around not just basic sci­ence, but also the mis­sion of decar­boniz­ing the power grid and mak­ing our econ­omy green.

Just like the ten­sions that existed between the Soviet Union and the US over pol­i­tics and geopol­i­tics in the ‘70s and ‘80s, one les­son that I think sci­en­tists learned on both sides, both in the Soviet Union and in the US, is that we need to keep the sci­en­tific chan­nels open,” he said.

Kam­men said that sci­ence coop­er­a­tion and exchange are impor­tant at this moment. “The US and China are the G2. I like to say we are the G2 of energy, the two biggest con­sumers of energy and the two biggest pol­luters in terms of green­house gases,” he said. “There is no cli­mate solu­tion unless the US and China find ways to work through their differences.”

This is a tech­nol­ogy exchange and a global need. We are work­ing on clean energy under cli­mate change and ful­fill­ing the need for decar­boniza­tion,” said Xiaofeng Zhang, the vice-​​president of ISV and pres­i­dent of Global Green Devel­op­ment Alliance.

The ISV has extended its efforts not only within China but also across diverse regions, includ­ing Africa, Latin Amer­ica, South Asia and North Amer­ica, with the pri­mary focus on deliv­er­ing eco-​​friendly and cost-​​effective energy solu­tions to under­priv­i­leged com­mu­ni­ties who have lim­ited access to envi­ron­men­tal resources.

We are doing more than only energy trans­fer­ring, but also inter­net, elec­tri­cal machin­ery, telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions and telemed­i­cine. We intro­duce all of these based on the community’s needs,” said Rajan Kapur, the pres­i­dent of ISV. “We ask the com­mu­nity what they want to do, and based on that, we tell them what tech­nol­ogy might be appro­pri­ate, what tech­nol­ogy can be locally sourced.”

ISV is also col­lab­o­rat­ing with Chi­nese local com­pa­nies and organizations.

It is also a business-​​development coop­er­a­tion, because when you take tech­nol­ogy and intro­duce it into soci­ety, you can­not just drop it over there,” he said. “The capac­ity does not exist to use the tech­nol­ogy; the infra­struc­ture does not exist. So we also help with the busi­ness mod­el­ing, the gov­er­nance of the enter­prises that get set up,” he said.

Kapur said that what they are try­ing to do is to have a long-​​term impact, and ISV has not only cre­ated sci­en­tific and busi­ness mod­els in those regions but also has deployed sup­port­ive equip­ment for more than 20 or 30 years.

He empha­sized that ISV’s ulti­mate objec­tive is to ensure afford­able and clean energy access for 1 bil­lion peo­ple world­wide through tech­nol­ogy and coop­er­a­tion between the US and China.

Addi­tion­ally, ISV expects to lever­age its resources to assist local com­mu­ni­ties and busi­nesses in achiev­ing sus­tain­able eco­nomic growth and region­wide improvements.

What we should remem­ber is that it is advanc­ing tech­nol­ogy for all of human­ity,” Kapur said.


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