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    Yancheng Low-carbon and Smart-energy Innovation Park: From Low Carbon to Zero Carbon

Society prioritizes carbon peak and neutrality. Committed to reducing carbon emissions, China has recently announced its goal to reach a carbon emission peak by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2060. The key to such a bold plan is low-carbon development supported by green energy.

So how should the energy industry face up to this challenge?

The Yancheng Low-carbon and Smart-energy Innovation Park — a special industrial park project initiated by the State Grid Yancheng Power Supply Company in Jiangsu Province — is one model the industry should consider following. Relatively small by Chinese standards, it takes up over 100,000 m2 at the Yandu District Logistics Park. That said, it features some of the industry's most advanced concepts, construction plans, and management models, all of which are rooted in low-carbon principles.

What new ideas and directions can the industry learn from this project?

To answer this question, Mr. Wang Guoping, Deputy General Manager, Yancheng Power Supply Company, Jiangsu Electric Power Co., Ltd., State Grid Corporation of China introduced the project to us in detail. He particularly highlighted the projects innovative management strategies for green operations, energy, and carbon emissions.

Clear Low-carbon Goals From the Onset

The Yancheng Low-carbon and Smart-energy Innovation Park was planned with smart, low-carbon, and multi-energy interconnection and complementarity goals in mind from the very start.

For this, its team focused on three main aspects: energy transition, zero carbon transition, and digital transformation. Energy transition looks to rely mainly on clean energy, refine energy management, and improve energy efficiency. Zero carbon transition focuses on full-lifecycle carbon asset management and guides the park to reduce carbon emissions. And digital transformation helps collect and analyze all factors of carbon generation, making park operations visualized, controllable, and manageable.

Here, energy transition is the development goal, zero carbon transition is the business logic, and digital transformation provides the technical foundation.

This industrial park is committed to increasing the proportion of renewable and clean energy it uses, promoting professional energy management, and improving energy efficiency. This makes it a comprehensive energy application demo site. In its pursuit of carbon neutrality targets, the park worked with partners to invest in and build infrastructure for energy management. This includes distributed energy stations, distributed rooftop PV, PV and pressure-sensitive power generation footpaths, AC and DC charging piles, multi-energy smart street lamps, an AC and DC smart micro-grid, a smart park platform, and intelligent park systems.

The park also adopts advanced information technologies, such as the energy Internet, big data, and a cloud service platform to manage, dispatch, and transact energy across supply, transmission, and consumption. In addition, it is building a new energy supply and consumption ecosystem for multi-energy complementarity on the supply side and integrated terminals on the consumption side. This supports green, low-carbon, secure, efficient, and sustainable development.

When the project is finished, all park terminals will be smart and the entire park will rely on electricity only. Clean energy will supply 85% of all power it consumes, and the overall energy efficiency ratio of cooling and heating systems will be no lower than 3.5. Predictions estimate that each year, the park can conserve nearly 3 million kilowatt-hours of energy, reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 2507.84 tons, and save 1193.84 tons of standard coal. This undoubtedly makes the Yancheng Low-carbon and Smart-energy Innovation Park a model for smart and low-carbon parkes.

Wang Guoping explains that the park was always planned as a green one, but it took many changes and adjustments to get to the final plan.

In 2018, the plan was just to build an industrial base in the logistics park. Forward to 2019, the power supply sector began transforming from power supply to comprehensive energy services, leading the park to yet again change direction. Then, China announced the carbon peak and neutrality goals in 2020, raising new concerns for the energy industry. Accordingly, the industrial park determined its final direction: low carbon. With this final plan in place, the park has been devoted to advancing the technology to cut emissions. Although the current technology is not enough for zero carbon, it is already making remarkable achievements in minimizing carbon emissions.

Three Keywords for a Low-carbon Demo Site

There are three keywords in the park's name: low-carbon, smart-energy, and innovation. These keywords indicate both the park's objectives and future strategies for development. The park will continue guiding enterprises in the industrial park to advance technological innovation through smart and digital means, focusing on carbon management.

The State Grid Yancheng Power Supply Company and Huawei worked closely together to build the Yancheng Low-carbon & Smart-energy Innovation Park. Huawei submitted the zero-carbon park solution used for the park for environmental awards and was nominated as a WSIS Prizes 2022 Champion Project.

Apart from simply saving energy, the solution uses scientific and intelligent power management approaches alongside various green power generation, supply, and storage methods to reduce carbon emissions. Also, through in-depth cooperation with Huawei, the park is capitalizing on advanced digital technologies for multi-energy complementarity on the power supply side and terminal integration on the power consumption side.

Wang Guoping shared the successful practice of Yancheng Low-carbon and Smart-energy Innovation Campus

There are four specific areas of innovation.

First, the new planning philosophy guides the top-level design of the innovation park. These include Huawei's latest three-dimensional transformation methodology (energy, zero-carbon, and digital transformation) and the four-flow integration value system (energy, carbon emissions, information, and value flows).

Second, the park enjoys a compact but complete new energy supply system. This enables source-grid-load-storage synergy.

Third, new approaches are used to manage energy consumption and supply, with zero-carbon management at the core.

And finally, the park adopts a range of new technologies. It uses Huawei's latest Wi-Fi 6 for full wireless coverage and has also deployed a digital platform to collect, access, and manage all of the park's data.

Founded on innovation, the park has intelligence at its core, including smart energy, zero-carbon, and park management.

Digital technologies are used to build a smart energy management and control platform. This enables the collaboration of different energy sources, including wind, solar, and geothermal energy. As a result, the park primarily relies on clean energy.

Smart zero-carbon management means that the park monitors a range of data to manage and control carbon emissions, using carbon flow analysis to reduce emissions.

At the same time, the park is a smart park, which facilitates the collaboration of different subsystems, such as vehicle, building, office, and lighting. It uses a range of the latest technologies, including intelligent security, convenient access, efficient office, smart building control, smart restaurant, and intelligent environment monitoring.

So far, many energy-related enterprises have set up offices in the park, all with the common goal toward a low-carbon, smart-energy future, making the park a low-carbon demo site.

Always Innovating Toward Carbon Peak and Neutrality Goals

Carbon peak and neutrality are closely related to the energy industry, especially the electric power sector, posing significant challenges to the entire industry. Profound changes are on the way for energy composition, power grid architecture, and operating standards. Accordingly, all plans and methods may need to be adapted and modified in the near future.

How can we generate electricity? How will electric power be transmitted? And how can the industry ensure efficient and low-loss power usage and storage? These questions are not new, but they do need new approaches today.

The Yancheng Low-carbon & Smart-energy Innovation Park is looking for innovative ways to address these issues by developing local new energy sources to optimize the energy structure. For example, it is developing distributed PV and wind power to form an energy supply system with a high proportion of new energy, featuring self-consumption and surplus feed-in. As a result, the park will reduce its reliance on traditional energy and turn to new energy instead.

Given the requirements for new power systems, the park is also learning how to operate the new energy it generates and effectively exploit multi-energy complementarity. It is actively exploring power distribution networks that are designed for new power systems and are autonomous and self-healing. In addition, the park has built a small energy storage system to address the fluctuation of new energy generators like fans and PV modules. This system will improve power supply quality and assist the power grid in peak shaving and frequency regulation.

And that's not all. The park is also exploring the thriving carbon trading concept. When the market becomes mature, is it possible for the park to provide emissions trading system services? Can the carbon credits created by low-carbon and zero-carbon technologies be traded? If the answer is yes, then the park will not only be cutting emissions on its own but also opening up more possibilities for carbon reduction for its customers.

Final Remarks:

As the Chinese saying goes, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Yancheng Low-carbon and Smart-energy Innovation Park is indeed one of the first successful steps that China has taken towards its carbon peak and neutrality goals. It pioneers industry trends and serves as a milestone on this journey. It shows us the future.

Wang Guoping notes that if we regard this industrial park as a product, it is only just taking shape. There is still a long way to go. Now that we are close to going low carbon, what comes next is zero carbon. Challenging as it is, this goal will eventually be achieved, so long as we keep trying, keep innovating, and keep pioneering.

Source: The Paper
By Song Yicong