Taiyuan hosts international forum on renewable energy

By Yuan Shenggao (China Daily)

Updated: 2021-09-10


Government officials, industry experts and business representatives from home and abroad attend the Taiyuan Energy and Low-Carbon Development Forum held from Sept 3-4. [Photo by Li Lianjun for China Daily]

High-profile attendees lend their support to cooperation in environmental goals, resources

Taiyuan, the capital city of North China's Shanxi province, became a focus of the world energy industry earlier this month while hosting a high-profile energy forum.

The 2021 Taiyuan Energy and Low-Carbon Development Forum, which was held in the city from Sept 3-4, was the first international forum in China's energy industry since Chinese authorities proposed the country's goal for carbon peak by 2030 and carbon neutrality in 2060.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event was held both offline and online.

Centering on energy, climate and the environment, participants at the forum, including government officials, industry experts and business representatives from home and abroad, discussed topics such as energy revolution, carbon peak and neutrality, and ecological civilization.

At the summit forum, a major part of the event, held on Sept 3, Liu Zhenmin, deputy secretary-general of the United Nations, delivered a keynote speech.

"China is now a major power in the development of renewable energy resources, featuring the largest renewable energy market in the world," Liu said. "I feel encouraged that China has taken many effective measures to deal with the challenge of global warming and improve the efficiency of energy utilization."

Kim Yung-rok, governor of the region of Jeollanam-do in South Korea, said the forum was of great significance when it came to such affairs as energy, climate and environment.

"Jeollanam-do is willing to closely cooperate with Shanxi and other regions in China in the fields (of energy, climate and environment)," Kim said.

Greek Minister of Environment and Energy Kostas Skrekas was also present at the summit forum. He said he believes green development is the common choice of many countries.

"I hope Greece and China deepen cooperation in the energy field," Skrekas said. "There have been close collaborations between Greek and Chinese enterprises and more Chinese companies plan to invest in Greece."

Malik Amin Aslam, Pakistan's minister for climate change, said at the summit forum that Pakistan firmly supports the consensus reached at the Taiyuan forum, especially in the fields of energy revolution and low-carbon development.

"We hope to continue our close cooperation with China in forging a green, ecological-friendly economic development corridor between our two countries," Aslam said.

Attendees to the summit forum included the diplomats of 26 country's diplomatic missions in China and representatives of Shanxi's friendly regions in the world.

These foreign representatives highly praised the efforts made by China and Shanxi in promoting energy revolution, carbon peak and neutrality, and eco-friendly development.

They expressed their hopes to use the Taiyuan forum to share experiences, enhance international cooperation and map out new paths to deal with global climate change.

The 2021 hydrogen energy industry development forum and the 11th summit meeting for the global top 500 new energy enterprises was another highlight of the event.

Corporate representatives shared their insights into hydrogen and other new energy sectors.

They proposed many effective solutions to various challenges based on their own companies' innovative practices.

Shanxi, as a major coal producer, has great potential in developing the hydrogen energy industry, said Zheng Peng, board chairman of Pengfei Group based in the Shanxi city of Xiaoyi.

He said the emerging hydrogen-making industry is an effective way to promote the clean and efficient utilization of coal and coal-related resources.

The entrepreneur explained that hydrogen can be made from coalbed gas and gases emitted in the coking process.

He said the coking industry is among the heavy-polluting sectors in Shanxi as well as China, as gas emissions in coking are not under efficient control at many manufacturing plants.

"Using coking gas to produce hydrogen can be an effective solution to curb pollution at many coking facilities in Shanxi by reducing emissions," Zheng said. "It also forges a lucrative industry with great market potential."

Pengfei Group is one of the pioneers in China using coking gas to produce hydrogen and a major supplier to the country's emerging hydrogen-fuel-cell industry.

Zheng said his company plans to invest more than 20 billion yuan ($3.1 billion) in developing a hydrogen energy industry chain that covers hydrogen production and storage as well as downstream sectors including hydrogen filling stations and the manufacturing of heavy-duty trucks using hydrogen-fuel-cell systems.

Wang Qirui, chief of the Shanxi Department of Emergence Management, agreed with Zheng on the environmental benefits of the hydrogen industry.

But the official stressed that safety management should be at the top of the agenda of the hydrogen industry. He explained that the production and use of hydrogen-a highly combustible gas-requires high technological and managerial standards.

The official suggested more research be conducted on leaks, diffusion and combustion of hydrogen and more safety testing facilities be established for the industry.

Guo Yanjie contributed to this story.