Business / Industries

US mission eyes energy cooperation

(China Daily) Updated: 2015-04-08 09:39

25 American companies to visit Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou next week

An upcoming United States trade mission to China is expected to bring about more bilateral cooperation in the energy sector, according to US Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz.

"There will be strong interaction with senior government officials in Beijing, everything from world climate issues to others that will allow relationships to flourish," Moniz said at the US-China Business Council in Washington on Monday.

The trade mission, led by Moniz and US Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, will involve 25 American companies visiting Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou from April 12 to 17.

Moniz expects the group to build "robust" partnerships with counterparts in China, adding he is "confident in what the US is doing in its government-to-government efforts", and also that the innovative solutions being brought by the firms involved will be warmly received. "There will be a variety of high-level interaction," said Moniz, who is a former professor of physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

According to White House officials, the mission will include technologies involved in smart building construction, green data centers, carbon capture utilization and storage, energy efficiency technologies, clean air and water, waste treatment, smart grid and green transportation. Pritzker said the visit would provide "an opportunity to facilitate greater cooperation between the governments and private sectors" of the US and China.

"We know that China has energy needs that our firms have the goods, services and expertise to address," she said. "Through this mission we hope to forge deeper ties that will strengthen the relationship between the world's two largest economies."

Moniz also said the mission would mark a "remarkable consolidation" in the expansion of China-US clean energy cooperation.

During President Barack Obama's visit to Beijing last November, he and President Xi Jinping jointly announced that China and the US would work together to meet both countries' post-2020 climate-change targets.

China, the world's largest investor in low-carbon energy with an investment of around $90 billion last year, has stated its goal of peaking CO2 emissions by 2030 or earlier, and increasing its non-fossil fuel share of all energy sources to around 20 percent by 2030.

The country also plans to install 100 gigawatts of solar power by 2020-almost half of current global capacity-and 200 GW of wind power by 2020, which is likely to keep it well ahead of other countries in terms of total capacity added in that time frame.

The US, the second-largest investor in clean energy with more than $50 billion, has a national commitment to curb heat-trapping emissions by 26-28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025.

Ye Yu, a research fellow in world economics at the Shanghai Institute for International Studies, said the fundamental way to relieve green protectionism lies in "promoting a more solid and sustainable energy cooperation between the two sides.

"While China is determined to further its energy reforms, the US should also have its domestic policy ready, providing clear and consistent incentives for clean energy investment," said Ye.

Sarah Forbes, a China expert at the World Resources Institute, said "high-level involvement, open and equal partnerships and well-supported collaboration" are the hallmarks of climate cooperation between the two nations.

"It's a long-running relationship that has delivered concrete, positive results," she said. "Both countries are making progress developing and deploying low-carbon energy through unique research arrangements within the public and private sectors."

Sheng Yang in Washington contributed to this story.

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