Grid Panel: Microgrids, Renewables Are Key

L to R: Delphine Hou, CAISO, Sarah Scafidi, Cadmus, Erik Takayesu, SCE, Marjorie Sun, China-US Energy Innovation Alliance, Jana Ganion, Chris Benjamin, PGE, He Jianzong, Dongguan Power Bureau, Wei Feng, LBNL, Cameron Briggs, Origin, Lexon Li, Altec.

Eight experts from China, Australia, and the U.S. were on our terrific panel on “Grid Resilience: How Do We Strengthen It?” on Sept. 14 in San Francisco. For a recording of the panel, click here. Downloadable to your phone or computer!

Among the panel takeaways:

  • Check out efforts in China to build grid resilience. He Jianzong has invented a laser to zap mylar balloons that can cause  outages when they hit power lines. Really.
  • Increasing microgrids and renewables are keys to enhancing grid resilience.
  • What’s a duck curve and why is it important? (Hint: Listen to Delphine Hou’s presentation.)
  • Looking for a model of microgrid resilience? See what Sendai, Japan has done. Its microgrid  has helped Fukushima recover from the tsunami and its nuclear disaster, according to Wei Feng.
  • Jana Ganion has led innovative microgrid development at Blue Lake Rancheria in northern California.

The panelists were:
China Southern Grid. HE Jianzong, Deputy Director, Dongguan Power of Guangdong Power, a subsidiary of China Southern Grid.
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Dr. Wei FENG of LBNL’s China Energy Group. Expert on smart grid and microgrids in China and U.S.
–Origin, Inc., Australia’s largest energy provider and longtime partner in Chinese power projects. Cameron Briggs. Head of Future Energy.
Jana Ganion. Sustainability and Government Affairs Director, Blue Lake Rancheria, California, a federally recognized tribal government.
Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E). Chris Benjamin. Director of Corporate Sustainability.
Southern California Edison (SCE). Erik Takayesu. Managing Director of Integrated Innovation and Modernization.
California Independent System Operator (CAISO). Delphine Hou. Manager, State Regulatory Affairs.
Cadmus Group. Sarah Scafidi. Head of business resilience practice.
William Kissinger. Panel moderator. Partner at Morgan Lewis, who focuses on energy and environmental issues.

More than 70 attended the event. The panel was organized in partnership with the Global Climate Action Summit.

Many thanks to our event partners, Morgan Lewis for hosting, the Energy Cooperation Program in Beijing, and Altec. We are deeply grateful to our financial corporate sponsors, PG&E, SCE, and Honeywell.

 

 

Guess How Many Coal Workers China Retrained?

Renewables = New Jobs in China
China has retrained an extraordinary number of coal workers to work in the renewables sector. Wind turbines in China. Photo by Envision, Inc.

10,000? 50,000? 100,000? How about 530,000! And that extraordinary effort occurred in 2016 alone, according to a new report by China Coal Research Institute. Fuqiang Wang, senior advisor on climate and energy at NRDC Beijing, is part of the report’s expert team.

Most of the Chinese coal workers were retrained with jobs in the renewable energy sector and the effort is going. “New jobs in the renewable sector are at least twice higher than the jobs lost in the coal sector,” Wang told the Alliance.

According to the latest stats, the renewable energy sector in China employed 3.64 million in 2017. In the U.S., renewables accounted for 777,000 jobs. In both countries, jobs renewables are booming. “Explosive” is how an article in Inside Climate News characterized employment in renewables in the U.S. in recent years.

The number of coal miners in the U.S. now totals around 53,000, down from a high of about 90,000 in 2012, according to the latest figures from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The U.S. could take a cue from China on retraining their coal workers, all 530,000 of them.