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Solar 350 at the British Chinese Energy Association

Last week it was great to be a speaker at the British Chinese Energy Association event “Away from the coal face and towards the light – renewables from a practitioner’s point of view” in London.

In a packed day with great hospitality from the hosts (Smith & Williamson Financial Services in Moorgate) I enjoyed presenting to an audience of energy professionals and renewables tech experts, focusing on our Chilean project progress, experiences in the Chilean energy market and the wider opportunities presented by renewable power projects in South America.

The BCEA is a non-profit organisation that connects UK-based Chinese energy professionals, to facilitate the sharing of industry knowledge and to provide mentoring opportunities for professionals and students who have the aspirations to join the energy industry. The BCEA developed from the Chinese Energy Professionals Exchange (CEPEX), which has been organising networking events for Chinese energy professionals since 2010 with a network of over 100 CEPEX members.

Also speaking was Luke Sussams, a senior researcher from Carbon Tracker who gave an excellent presentation on the current state of the Chinese coal industry, and more broadly gave insights into the rapid decline of the coal sector in the wider world.

There was also an insightful presentation by Adrian Walton of Smith & Williamson on the changing UK Tax policy and how we should expect this to affect investment in Renewables… which was, as he suggested, probably going to see a decline in the rapid growth we’ve experienced over the last decade, but start-ups and new technologies might benefit. Which is good news, especially with HMRC R&D tax credits.

All in all it was great day with some excellent networking – thanks to the BCEA for inviting me. My work with Carbon 350 has given me (and the rest of the Solar 350 team) good experience of the Chinese domestic carbon accreditation scheme – which is working very well and helping us to offset millions of tonnes of CO2e against some of the best hydro and bio-digestion power projects in the world. (You can see just how much carbon we’re saving on our projects page). The Chinese cap-and-trade initiatives are something that we can also expect to see adopted in Europe in the future, as it appears to be a very sensible way to fight emissions with commercial means and focus on reducing carbon emissions rather than drive renewables growth with subsidies.

I’m looking forwards to the next one!