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California, China: clean-energy synergy

By Lia Zhu in San Francisco | China Daily USA | Updated: 2017-07-14 12:50

There is tremendous opportunity and synergy between California and China to develop clean-energy economies, said delegates who accompanied California Governor Jerry Brown on his China trip last month.

"It was a significant trip in a lot of ways," said Mary Nichols, chair of the California Air Resources Board.

"It really is in our mutual interest to be collaborating with other countries and find a way that we can benefit both economically and environmentally from our action to address this problem. The Chinese get that," she said at a seminar on California-China clean energy hosted by the Bay Area Council on Tuesday.

During his trip from June 2-9, Brown signed several clean energy agreements, including with Sichuan and Jiangsu provinces to bolster regional climate partnerships with China, and one with China's Ministry of Science and Technology to expand cooperation on the advancement of low-carbon, renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies.

The two sides will promote environmental and economic activities in both places, and there's "tremendous opportunity and responsibility to flush those things out", said Nichols.

"We are going to be held responsible for developing some programs under these agreements and we will be called upon to develop some specific action and agenda items around research and sharing opportunities for investment in both directions," she said.

The Bay Area Council, a San Francisco-based business and economic policy association, sent a delegation to participate in the governor's meetings with high-level officials and business leaders about the future of clean energy economies.

"There was tremendous interest in our meetings. We met China National Grid and had great conversations on how to tackle some of the issues we saw coming for them since we are in some way a little bit ahead of the curve on the renewable energy front," said Arthur Haubenstock, general counsel and vice-president with 8minutenergy Renewables, a major developer of utility-scale solar and storage in the US.

"Actually they (China) are building very long ultra high voltage transmission lines, which bring solar and other resources to population centers. If we had that here, we got more than enough renewable energy to power our country many times over, to face all the energy needs and electrify all sectors of the economy," said Haubenstock.

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