Cornwall Council, a member of the mission, signed a Protocol of Collaboration with Penghu County to exchange information and cooperate with the aim of jointly promoting research and development efforts in the areas of smart grids, renewable energy and enabling technologies.
The signing ceremony was witnessed by David Campbell, Director of the British Trade and Cultural Office (BTCO) and Shi-Lin Chen, Vice President of Taiwan Smart Grid Industry Association (TSGIA).
“Research suggests that implementation of smart grids in the UK will generate more than £13 billion in economic benefits and UK smart grid exports could be worth more than £5 billion” said Campbell. “As Taiwan is a global technological leader, we are keen to work with Taiwan to develop further links and realise these business opportunities.”
SmartGrid GB was founded by the UK’s leading smart grid companies including British Gas, BT, Cable & Wireless, UK Power Networks and Vodafone. Two experts from British Gas plc are also visiting as part of the delegation. British Gas hopes to sign agreements to buy energy performance contracts, external LED street lights, next generation insulation, Zigbee devices and smart homes technology.
This collaboration will include the development of smart grid technologies, smart grid technology standards research, power distribution networks, energy storage R&D research, renewable energy and low carbon technology research, bilateral industry alliance collaboration, etc., with the aim of stimulating collaboration and development between universities, research institutes and companies engaged in the Penghu Low Carbon Island and Smart Cornwall projects” said Dr. Jonathan Adey, Convergence Team Leader in Cornwall Council
The UK Smart Grid mission is a part of the “UK-Taiwan Partnering Towards Low Carbon Economy” programme launched by the BTCO in September. The two-month programme includes eight events with more than 30 UK speakers visiting Taiwan to strengthen partnerships between UK and Taiwan in the low carbon sector.
The UK Government supports the development of a national smart grid which will cut the cost of necessary future upgrades to the power network, save energy, improve energy security and cut carbon emissions. So far the UK has committed over £500 million to smart grid trials and millions more to supporting complementary technology, such as electric vehicle recharging infrastructure. As a first step in the deployment of smart grids, the UK Government has committed to roll out smart metering to 53 million homes by the end of 2020. £8.6bn will be spent on smart meters in the UK which are expected to deliver savings of over £14.6bn over 20 years.