‘Energy Valley’ in Beijing drives innovative development of energy industry

This aerial photo shows the Future Science City in Beijing's Changping district. Photo courtesy of the Changping District People's Government of Beijing Municipality.

This aerial photo shows the Future Science City in Beijing's Changping district. Photo courtesy of the Changping District People's Government of Beijing Municipality.

Published Dec 1, 2022


An "Energy Valley" located in the Future Science City in Beijing's Changping district, being home to many energy enterprises and new-type research and development (R&D) institutions with top-ranking innovation and R&D capacity, has provided support for innovative development of China's new energy industry.

Through vigorous construction and development, the "Energy Valley" has attracted more than 300 R&D institutions and enterprises to move in, and gathers more than 10,000 sci-tech talents, emerging as a core area for supporting development of the advanced energy sector under Beijing's top 10 high-end industries.

The diversity in the mainstay of innovation, concentration of innovation platforms, a sound environment for innovation and a solid industrial foundation are the characteristics of the development of the advanced energy industry in the "Energy Valley."

Multiple innovative technologies developed in the "Energy Valley" have reached the world advanced level.

At the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games, 150 hydrogen-powered buses were put into use, accomplishing more than 7,000 transportation tasks involving more than 160,000 people. The fuel cells in the vehicles were developed and built by the State Power Investment Corporation Limited, which has entered the "Energy Valley," and the raw materials and spare parts in the vehicles are all independently developed.

At present, the "Energy Valley" has established a complete industrial chain covering production of hydrogen, storage of hydrogen, hydrogen fuel cells, engines and electric vehicles. Apart from hydrogen, energy Internet is and will be a major focus of the "Energy Valley" at present and for a certain period of time in the future.

"Some 48 enterprises in the 'Energy Valley' are engaged in energy Internet, with their fields of specialization in the sector covering intelligent grid, ultra-high voltage transmission, power generation by clean energy, etc. The technologies have overall reached an internationally advanced level," said Jin Xin, head of the service department of the management committee of the Future Science City.

Jin expressed that the "Energy Valley" will focus on construction of a high ground for Internet innovation, an industrial cluster and an exchange center, and promote in-depth integration of the Internet and energy production, transportation, storage, consumption, and market.

The innovative capacity of the "Energy Valley" is also reflected through R&D of an array of technologies.

The Clean Energy Research Institute of China Huaneng Group, a major state-owned power company in China, has developed a flexible photovoltaic (PV) technology which can well adapt to terrain conditions and raise land utilization efficiency, thus lowering costs associated with and improving efficiency of photovoltaic projects and achieving ecological synergy.

A future-oriented flexible transformer substation developed by the Smart Grid Research Institute of the State Grid Corporation of China (State Grid), which can efficiently convert different forms of voltage and electric current and receive and distribute electrical energy in a flexible and controllable manner, has improved the conversion efficiency for alternating current and direct current.

The smart grid inspection technology has helped ensure safety of the grid. In the past, maintenance of transmission lines relied on manual work. Nowadays, thanks to the application of the smart grid inspection technology, drones and artificial intelligence (AI) platforms play a big part in inspection and maintenance of transmission lines.

"The successful implementation of the smart grid inspection technology will vigorously promote in-depth integration of AI and the electric power business, advance cooperation between the upstream and downstream of the industrial chain of the domestic AI industry, generate new technological means for management of the power grid, and push forward upgrading of AI products and technologies, as well as their application in such industries as oil and gas exploration and transportation," said Liu Siyan, an engineer from the Computing and Application Research Institute of the Smart Grid Research Institute of the State Grid.

The smart grid inspection technology can timely solve problems, while high-resolution corrosion mapping can better prevent problems from occurring.

To prevent power grid corrosion, the State Grid has established experiment stations in 2,393 places across the country, carrying out experiments and environmental monitoring and collecting more than 40,000 pieces of data on corrosion of equipment and materials, as well as several million pieces of data on corrosive environment.

The high-resolution corrosion mapping technology has been successfully applied in construction of 6 ultra-high voltage projects, including the Baihetan-Jiangsu ultra-high-voltage power transmission project.

The technology has effectively boosted corrosion resistance of ultra-high-voltage power transmission projects and laid a solid foundation for strengthening the anti-corrosion ability of engineering equipment in various sectors.