Government and Policy

National lab for clean energy to open

By Zhang Xiaomin (China Daily Dalian Bureau)
Updated: 2011-04-20 15:49
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The National Laboratory for Clean Energy is expected to go into operation in September, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) said at an conference in Dalian on April 11.

Li Can, a key member of the preparation team, said the lab is established by the Ministry of Science and Technology and the CAS. Its research will cover petroleum chemical, natural gas, coal, solar energy, biomass energy, hydrogen energy, fuel cells, power storage and some other areas.

He welcomed world universities, research institutions and companies to collaborate with the lab in Dalian, a port city of northeast China's Liaoning province.

China topped the 2010 list for global clean energy finance and investment, a report released by Pew Charitable Trusts shows. Among the total $243 billion, China attracted a record $54.4 billion in clean energy financing last year, up 39 percent year-on-year.

Li said China's investment in developing clean energy will help ease the pressure of carbon dioxide emission.

Currently, Li is heading a solar fuels and solar cells research center in Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics (DICP) as a part of the Solar Energy Act project initiated by the CAS in 2009. The project aims to make solar fuels and electricity production with large-scale use by 2050.

"The project goes well. The conversion of the sun's energy into electricity has been applied in some areas. Here in Dalian, we're making progress on the research to change it into chemical energy (solar fuels), but it still takes time to utilize the technology."

British Petroleum, one of the world's largest oil companies, will expand the cooperation with the CAS at all range of different technologies around clean energy, Angelo Amorelli, a senior executive assistant of BP, told China Daily.

"The accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, as well as last summer's massive Gulf of Mexico spill and political unrest in North Africa and the Middle East, are clear reminders that the world's preferences on energy may be affected by events," he said, "BP will continue to invest in alternative energy, especially biofuels, wind, and solar."

The UK-based Royal Society of Chemistry and the DICP organized the 1st International Conference on Clean Energy Science from April 10 to 13 in Dalian, one of China's biggest manufacturing bases of wind power equipments.

Some 300 scholars, experts, and industrial representatives from 25 countries including UK, USA, Japan, Singapore and South Korea, attended the conference and shared the latest research findings on solar energy conversion, electrochemical energy conversion and storage, biofuels and biomass conversion, hydrogen production and storage and some other clean energy-related themes.

Bao Xinhe, an academician of the CAS and the director of CAS Shenyang branch, believes solar energy will be the ultimate energy resource in the long run.

"We need to communicate with foreign experts. Through the international conferences, we can keep ourselves updated with the cutting-edge technologies and find our limitations," he told China Daily.

"To follow the trend will not do. One has to make innovation. I hope that one day Chinese scientists will play very important role in world's development", said Bao.