Future bright for Sino-US clean energy cooperation

13:44, June 25, 2010      

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In a recent interview, Chief Executive Officer of the U.S.-China Clean Energy Forum Dennis Bracy said he went to China every month, and every time he would say to himself, "Oh my God! China has changed once again!" He visited the World Expo in Shanghai twice and found the China Pavilion had fully implemented the concepts of clean energy, low-carbon economy, energy conservation and emissions reduction. He said this was a very significant change compared to several years ago.

The headquarters of the U.S.-China Clean Energy Forum is located in Seattle, Washington in the United States. Since its establishment two years ago, U.S. and Chinese representatives and experts on finance, export regulations, energy technology and other fields have formed three joint working groups to discuss how to cooperate in clean energy and decide the priority cooperation areas and projects between the two countries.

In the meantime, this forum aims to eliminate the negative factors in clean energy development and get rid of all the obstacles to enable cooperation to proceed smoothly. In this way, not only the two countries but also people of the whole world could be benefited. The forum held three meetings in October 2008 then in February and May 2009. It handed in eight proposals on clean energy cooperation to the two governments.

Bracy said China was showing comprehensive positive changes in clean energy development. China's National People's Congress has done extensive legislative work in this regard. China is leading the world in clean energy equipment exports. Its research in electric vehicles is also developing rapidly.

Currently, the only problem is the high cost of electric car batteries, which hit about 14,000 U.S. dollars for one car. But thanks to the progress of scientific research coupled with gradually increasing production, costs will be reduced.

He said the U.S. government also attaches great importance to the development of clean energy vehicles. The U.S. Department of Energy has an energy cooperation office committed to this kind of research. A deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy once published a book on the use of clean energy vehicles.

Bracy pointed out China still faces severe challenges in the development of clean energy. China is undergoing rapid urbanization, with about 20 million peasant workers rushing into cities every year. This puts huge pressure on urban housing, transportation and related energy consumption.

Because it is undergoing rapid industrialization, China has increasingly greater demands for energy. Its dependence on coal as a major source of energy will not change easily in the short term. With the recovery of the world economy, more Chinese factories will be running at full capacity. This also brings the challenge of how to creatively develop clean energy. To handle these challenges, the U.S.-China Clean Energy Forum has actively brought proposals through measures such as establishing a clean energy research center.

Referring to the prospects of U.S. clean energy development, Bracy said the oil leak accident in the Gulf of Mexico should have been a golden opportunity for the United States to push for clean energy development. But now it seems this may have been missed.

If the U.S. Congress could pass the climate change bill this year, it will help promote U.S. clean energy development. However, due to the complicated political factors like the mid-term elections, it is unknown if the bill could be passed.

Bracy told the reporter that currently some people have combined "cooperation" and "competition" into one word: "coopertition," which describes the relations in clean energy development featuring both cooperation and competition.

Although this is the reality, we feel more deeply that with the support of President Hu Jintao and President Barack Obama, the United States and China will embrace a more solid foundation in clean energy cooperation. We understand the truth better. As the world's two major energy-consuming nations, the United States and China must develop clean energy better and faster so that both countries as well as the whole world could benefit. An uncooperative attitude can only harm both. A lot of consensus had already been reached. Now what we need is more action.

By People's Daily Online


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