Sustainable RE needs global cooperation, standardization and innovation

In recent years, several important international agreements have been concluded, to accelerate renewable energy access and advance energy efficiency.

By Antoinette Price

Among these, in 2015, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a dedicated Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) on Sustainable Energy for All (SDG 7), while the year ended in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s (UNFCCC) 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) in Paris, where 195 countries agreed to limit global warming to well below two degrees Celsius

Yinbiao Shu IEC-SGCC RE conference Frankfurt IEC Vice-President and Chair of SGCC Dr Yinbiao Shu expounded SGCC practices and experiences in RE advancement

A growing world trend for clean energy

As the world moves away from fossil fuel dependency toward cleaner energy sources, large-scale development of renewable energy (RE), such as wind and solar power, will be vital. Additionally, much work will be needed and challenges faced, to achieve large-scale electrification of energy production and consumption, using interconnected, intelligent power grids.

China is the world’s largest energy producer and consumer. According to the China Energy Portal, by the end of 2016, the total installed capacity of its wind and solar power reached 150 GW and 80 GW respectively.

International conference addresses challenges of sustainable energy evolution

Against this backdrop, IEC and the State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC) organized the International conference on renewable energy (RE) development and technology with the theme of innovation, standardization, cooperation and connectivity, in Frankfurt in June.

Over 130 representatives from 19 countries participated, including governments, manufacturers, research institutes, universities, utilities, universities, companies and international organizations, including the International Energy Agency (IEA).

The Conference was introduced by Dr Yinbiao Shu, Vice-President of IEC and Chair of SGCC, who expounded SGCC practices and experiences in RE advancement.

Some of the many achievements include, developing the world’s most advanced ultra high voltage (UHV) transmission technology, integrating 130 GW wind power and 70 GW solar power generation by the end of 2016, installing a total of 427 million smart meters, and creating an infrastructure providing services for one million electric vehicles.

Shu urged everyone to, “promote the sustainable and healthy development of RE, of which power grid construction, technical innovation, policy mechanism and social participation are the four pillars.”

IEC plays crucial role in enabling RE development

During a high-level dialogue covering regulation policy, market mechanism and development planning, Frans Vreeswijk, IEC General Secretary and CEO, highlighted the role of IEC in developing renewables as providing the “technical foundation to evaluate and compare different projects and verify how they perform versus each other through its standardization activities.”

Vreeswijk talked about IECRE, the IEC System for the Certification to Standards Relating to Equipment for Use in Renewable Energy Applications, which allows grid operators to confirm effective electricity output compared to manufacturer promises. He explained that the System is designed to provide services that will “include project and device certification, including site selection, operational requirements, maintenance and repairs, as well as the qualification of personnel and covers wind, solar and marine sectors.”

During a panel discussion on the regulation of renewable energy, Dr Ulrich Spindler, IEC Vice-President and Chair, Conformity Assessment Board, elaborated on the benefits of the IECRE System, which among other things, “allows regulators to provide harmonized rules to facilitate the collaboration of many different stakeholders, and bring the innovative potential of industry on the right track to avoid island solutions that hinder market growth.”

Everyone has a role to play

“Technology and policy innovation are important driving forces for the sustainable development of renewable energy, while strong grid power and comprehensive standardization are the basis for its promotion.” These were some of the conclusions reached by all involved in the discussions.

Other keynote speakers, including industry leaders, energy ministers, regulators and research organizations, talked about RE operation control and technology development, policy and planning, market mechanism and regulation and forecasting, dispatching and operation of energy storage.

Find out more about the Conference at this video link.

Gallery
Moving away from fossil fuels Renewables will be used increasingly as power sources for intelligent grids (Photo: Land Trust Alliance)
Yinbiao Shu IEC-SGCC RE conference Frankfurt IEC Vice-President and Chair of SGCC Dr Yinbiao Shu expounded SGCC practices and experiences in RE advancement