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US expert helps Chinese firm build energy road map

By Liu Xiangrui | China Daily | Updated: 2017-06-30 07:54
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A wind farm in Yancheng city, Jiangsu province, operated by the Shenhua Group, one of the country's forefront runners in green energy. [Photo provided to China Daily]


An expert from the United States is helping a Chinese firm build an energy road map. Liu Xiangrui reports.

US energy expert John Lemmon says joining a Chinese research institute was the result of a "prefect match of timing and expertise".

Since 2015, he has been working as the director of Distributed Energy Technologies at the National Institute of Clean-and-Low-Carbon Energy, an R&D facility funded by the State-owned Shenhua Group.

The 53-year-old is a member of China's Thousand Talent program, which aims to bring in overseas experts to boost the country's high-tech industries.

Previously, Lemmon served as a program director for the US Advanced Research Project Agency-Energy, managing projects related to power grids.

"My job here is to create a road map of technologies to meet both Shenhua's and the country's goals," says Lemmon.

The goals, he explains, include creating future electric grids.

After obtaining his PhD from Oregon State University, Lemmon began his career at General Electric's Global Research Center, where he worked on a portfolio of programs, including polymers, hydrogen storage, fuel cells and energy-storage technologies. He has been granted more than 60 patents in the United States, including one for a lithium-battery technology.

Lemmon first visited China in 2005 while still working for GE, and participated in a few projects in the US company's research lab in Shanghai. His field-energy storage-became a focus area of conferences in China at the time, and he started paying more visits to present his projects and help organize several such conferences.

Lemmon says he had heard about the National Institute of Clean-and-Low-Carbon Energy when it was founded in 2009, because several of his former colleagues and friends worked there.

"But at that time, I didn't match my career (plan) with what NICE was doing very well," he recalls.

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