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China, EU Strengthen Energy Ties
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China and the EU will strengthen cooperation and exchanges in the energy sector, including clean coal technology, renewable energy and nuclear power, top officials said at the 6th China-EU Energy Cooperation Conference, which was held in Shanghai yesterday.


The conference attracted about 250 top energy policy makers and industrialists. Representatives discussed a range of topics including energy security, increasing energy efficiency, nuclear energy and security, and interactions between energy and environmental policies.


During the conference, China's Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) and the European Commission signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on near-zero emission power generation technology in an effort to jointly fight global climate change.


As the major source of power generation, coal consumption continues to increase to meet the needs of China's rapid economic development. Statistics show that China consumed some 34 percent of the coal used worldwide in 2004.


However, utilization efficiency rates are low due to a lack of advanced technology, and unchecked carbon dioxide emission has led to environmental pollution.


Under the MOU, the Chinese government and the EU will jointly conduct research and promote the technology of near-zero emission power generation.


It includes controlling carbon dioxide emissions into the air by catching it on its way out and storing it underground.


The feasibility study for the project will be completed by the end of 2008, according to the MOU.


Andris Piebalgs, energy commissioner for the EU, said that it will invest 5 million euros (US$5.95 million) in the first stage of the cooperation, followed by an equal investment from the UK.


China will allocate resources to support the project and seek further financial resources together with the EU.


In addition, China aims to establish an energy research and development program supported by the business community and universities in terms of funds and talents, according to Ma Songde, vice minister of MOST.


(China Daily February 21, 2006)

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