PMSenior Editor Mike Miazga checks in from the first day of ISH China in Beijing.

A crowd gathers for the 2011 ISH China & CIHE opening ceremony. (Photo credit: Mike Miazga/Plumbing & Mechanical.)

How many people can say they’ve been to or near the North Pole?

Technically, I now fall into that category.

The route my plane took to Beijing, China, the other night took us up by the home of Santa Claus. Pretty cool stuff - literally. The outside air temperature according to my video screen said -93 degrees Fahrenheit. I also found it amusing that we were given a “midnight snack” and it was light outside as we were in that North Pole vicinity.

That’s probably enough of the airplane stories. My trek to Beijing finds me at theISH China & CIHE-China International Trade Fair for Heating, Sanitation and Air-Conditioning Expoat the China International Exhibition Center.

This event is a joint venture between ISH China and CIHE and is now regarded as the biggest heating, air-conditioning and sanitation expo in Asia. This show will be a yearly fixture.

Nearly 700 exhibitors from 19 countries are on hand. This show takes up 10 expo halls, spanning 48,000 square meters (516,668 square feet), including a special European pavilion with 13 exhibitors.

The show has attracted more than 700 exhibitors including the likes of A.O. Smith. (Photo credit: Mike Miazga/Plumbing & Mechanical.)

A couple of things have impressed me. For starters, the show is quite expansive and offers a wide variety of vendors. You have to exit one hall and go outside to reach the other options.

One common theme here is renewable energy. I probably should underline that phrase. It’s a definite hot-button topic. We’ve heard about it in the U.S. and now the Asian market is buckling itself in and ready to make the big sustainable push.

I sat in on part of the well-attended Sino European Congress, which featured different speakers with a theme of “Modern Energy Saving Concepts and Technologies For HVAC Technology.” The sessions I attended filled a large conference room to near capacity.

The message was crystal clear. Renewable/green energy isn’t going anywhere. It’s here to stay. That point was driven home in a massive book (it weighed 5 pounds if I had to guess) that was given to attendees and covered topics like solar and ground-source heat pumps.

A healthy number of the attendees were younger individuals - something I also found to be very impressive. These younger folks, the future of the industry, are taking the time to learn more about the industry and its future technologies.

In my next update, I’ll give you a breakdown of what is contained in the various expo halls (each expo hall has a particular focus).

[Read Mike’s blog from the second day of ISH Chinahere.]