This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

November 18, 2009

United States and China to Cooperate on Clean Energy

Photo of the President Obama listening to China's President Hu Jintao as the leaders stand in front of a colorful Pagoda in Beijing.

President Obama talks with China's President Hu Jintao in Beijing during Obama's first trip to China. Enlarge this image.
Credit: Pete Souza, White House

President Barack Obama and China's President Hu Jintao announced on November 17 a far-reaching package of measures to strengthen cooperation between the United States and China on clean and renewable energy. The presidents began by establishing a U.S.-China Clean Energy Research Center to facilitate joint research and development of clean energy technologies by scientists from both countries. The center will be supported by $150 million in public and private funds over the next five years, split evenly between the partners. Initial research priorities will be building energy efficiency, clean vehicles, and carbon capture and storage.

Also, building on the first-ever U.S.-China Electric Vehicle Forum in September 2009, the two leaders unveiled a U.S.-China Electric Vehicles Initiative, which will include developing joint standards, building demonstration projects in more than a dozen cities, creating technical roadmaps, and carrying out public education projects. Both nations said they share an interest in accelerating the deployment of electric vehicles in order to reduce oil dependence, cut greenhouse gas emissions, and promote economic growth. The countries will also leverage private sector resources to develop clean energy projects in China through the U.S.-China Energy Cooperation Program (ECP). More than 22 companies are founding members of the program. The ECP will include collaborative projects involving renewable energy, smart grids, clean transportation, green buildings, combined heat and power, energy efficiency, and clean coal.

As part of their joint efforts, the two powers will hold an ongoing series of forums. For example, a new U.S.-China Energy Efficiency Forum will be held annually, rotating between the two countries. This will be part of the new U.S.-China Energy Efficiency Action Plan, launched by President Obama and President Hu Jintao. The action plan commits the two countries to work together and with the private sector to improve the energy efficiency of buildings, industrial facilities, and consumer appliances. Similarly, the new U.S.-China Renewable Energy Partnership will feature an annual rotating forum. Under the partnership, the two countries will develop roadmaps for widespread renewable energy deployment in both countries. In addition, the countries will encourage state-to-state and region-to-region partnerships in order to share experiences and best practices. Also included in this undertaking will be a new Advanced Grid Working Group, which will bring together U.S. and Chinese policymakers, regulators, industry leaders, and civil society to develop strategies for grid modernization in both countries. See the DOE press release and the DOE fact sheets on the Clean Energy Research Center (PDF 66 KB), Electric Vehicles Initiative (PDF 91 KB), Energy Efficiency Plan (PDF 72 KB), and Renewable Energy Partnership (PDF 72 KB). Download Adobe Reader.