China's Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) and the National Development and Reform Commission jointly launched the International Science and Technology Cooperation Program on New and Renewable Energy on November 12, 2007. Below is the full text of the Program.
International Science and Technology Cooperation Program on New and Renewable Energy
New and renewable energy, as clean and sustainable energy sources, provides a key solution to future energy supplies for all of humanity. In order to advance the development and application of new energy sources in China and around the world, fight against global climate change, conserve energy, realize a sustainable development of economy and society and build a harmonious world, China has formulated the International Science and Technology Cooperation Program on New and Renewable Energy (hereinafter referred to as the Program), aiming to strengthen international science and technology (S&T) cooperation in this field. New and renewable energy mentioned in the Program refers to solar energy, wind power, biomass energy, geothermal energy, ocean energy, hydrogen energy and natural gas hydrates.
Nowadays the world mainly relies on fossil fuels for its energy supply, with 74 percent of the total energy consumption being coal, oil, natural gas and other fossil fuels. Their use has promoted the development of modern society while exhausting energy sources. Excessive use of fossil fuels has also caused serious environmental pollution and climate change. In view of this, countries all over the world are all focusing on the development of new and renewable energy as an integral part of their future energy strategy. So far, over thirty developed nations and more than ten developing ones have set goals for the advance of renewable energy.
It is now widely recognized by all countries that the energy problem is a global issue and requires the joint efforts of the whole international community. Therefore, closer international S&T cooperation regarding the development of new and renewable energy has become a common choice for all nations seeking to increase energy supply, reduce energy consumption, guard energy security, cut greenhouse gas emission, develop a low-carbon economy and realize sustainable development. The Tokyo Protocol and its Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) proved to be a strong impetus for international collaboration in this field.
As the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change receives better comprehension and wider acceptance, the development of new and renewable energy will win increasing support from more countries and international organizations.
In order to propel the development of new and renewable energy, the Chinese government has promulgated a package of policies, laws and regulations, including the Renewable Energy Law, the National Mid- and Long-term Program Outline on Sci-tech Development (206-2020), and the Mid- and Long-term Development Program for Renewable Energy. These measures serve to create a favorable policy environment for the development of new and renewable energy and also for international cooperation in this field.
The Program aims to demonstrate to the whole world, through international S&T cooperation, China's commitment to relying on sci-tech innovations to develop new and renewable energy, cutting greenhouse gas emissions and building a resource-conservative and environmental-friendly society, and also highlights its efforts to work with other countries to solve global energy problems. Moreover, it aims to identify more channels for China to introduce overseas cutting-edge technologies and facilitate the transfer of these technologies from developed countries to developing ones and among developing countries. At the same time, it will support Chinese advanced technologies to enter the global market. The Program is expected to promote the overall development of new energy technologies and expedite the convergence of technologies from different countries.
The Program also aims to help China to bring in overseas talents in the new and renewable energy field to improve the country's basic research capacities and solve key sci-tech problems.
It will also strive toward the growth of a new and renewable energy industry to raise energy utilization efficiency, expand scale application and reduce cost.
A dialogue, consultation and exchange mechanism between China and foreign governments, enterprises and research institutes will be set up.
Mutual Benefits. China will develop bilateral and multilateral cooperation in line with the advantages and characteristics of new and renewable energy sources in different countries to achieve win-win results.
IPR Protection. In the international sci-tech cooperation for new and renewable energy, the Program will beef up protection of intellectual property rights (IPR) for advanced technologies that advance sci-tech progress and innovation and rev up the commercialization, application and promotion of sci-tech achievements.
Sharing of advanced technologies. On the basis of IPR protection, the Program will intensify international exchanges and cooperation for basic research, technological development, demonstration and application in the field of new and renewable energy. It will encourage advanced Chinese new energy technologies to enter the international exchange platform and share with other countries their respective technologies and resources.
Integration of strength. Through "bringing in", "going out" and other approaches, China hopes to utilize both the international and domestic resources to improve technological levels and innovation capacities of its new and renewable energy industries and contribute to the promotion and application of new energy technologies throughout the world.
Technological innovation. The Program aims to promote the development of efficient and environmental-friendly energy utilization technologies, raise the overall energy utilization levels and optimize the energy structure through international sci-tech cooperation.
The Program aims to seek new modes of international exchange and cooperation, combine the complementary strengths of all countries and set up a technological cooperation platform. It will help China to introduce cutting-edge technologies from foreign countries and at the same time support Chinese technologies to disseminate abroad. It will further China's sci-tech cooperation with other developing countries.
The Program will make a technological guide for international exchange and cooperation on new and renewable energy and support China's participation in the formulation of international standards and criteria for new and renewable energy technologies. It will also help China in technological introduction, absorption and further innovations and help it to build advanced technologies application demonstration projects with other countries.
The enterprise-centered cooperation between industry, universities and research institutes will be intensified to accelerate the commercialization of research findings. Some large demonstration projects will be built to rev up technological innovation; international sci-tech cooperation bases will be set up in line with local conditions to promote a harmonious scale development of new and renewable energy.
The Program will also nurture high-caliber professionals in the field of research and development of new and renewable energy.
V. Priority Areas
Research of basic sciences and applicable technologies in the following areas will be given priority.
(1) Solar power generation and building-integrated solar energy
Solar thermal and photovoltaic electric power generation system; thin film and other new types of solar cells; the integrated application of solar energy in building; low-cost and low-polluting technologies for the production of solar high-pure silicon materials; industrial application of solar thermal utilization technologies.
(2) Biomass fuels and biomass power generation
Non-food energy crops; cellulose ethanol; energy producing forestry plants; bio-diesel; biomass briquettes; biomass gasification, methane and power generation.
(3) Wind power generation
Wind power resources evaluation; large-scale and high-efficient wind power generating units; construction of offshore wind power generating units and wind power plants.
(4) Hydrogen energy and fuel cells
Hydrogen production, storage and transportation technologies; new types of fuel cells and the application of fuel cells in cars.
(5) Natural gas hydrate
Prospecting, exploration, storage and transportation and application technologies of natural gas hydrates.
VI. Major Tasks
(1) Basic research
The Program will encourage Chinese universities and R&D institutes to take part in international cooperation and exchanges and carry out basic theoretical research of new technologies to markedly enhance China's overall research capacities in the basic sciences and frontier technologies and also attempt to discover some globally far-reaching findings of various scientific theories.
(2) Industrialization demonstrations
The Program will closely track, introduce and research advanced technologies that can facilitate the development of new and renewable energy at low cost and in large scale; it will also back up research and development on systematic evaluation of energy resources and on complementary system of various distributed new and renewable energy sources.
As new and renewable energy is a new sector based on modern manufacturing technologies, therefore, the Program will promote international cooperation for equipment design and manufacturing technologies and set up an internationalized test center.
(3) Scale application
The Program will support China to take part in the formulating of international and regional technical norms regarding new and renewable energy sources. It also aims to improve China's legal and managerial systems for new and renewable energy by referencing foreign experiences.
(4) "Go-out" strategy
The Program will encourage Chinese enterprises, research and development institutes and universities to go out and participate in large-scale domestic and international cooperation projects revolving around new and renewable energy as well as set up R&D centers and bases. They are also encouraged to establish long-term cooperative partnerships with other countries. The Program will also promote technological transfers from developed countries to developing countries and among developing countries.
(5) International exchanges
The Program will set up dialogue mechanisms for international science and technology cooperative projects for new and renewable energy among various countries to exchange ideas and experiences on energy exploration and utilization and jointly find a solution to the development bottleneck. China's exchanges with foreign governments, enterprises, and research institutes are expected to be intensified in the forms of forums, seminars and policy dialogues.
(6) Nurturing high-caliber professionals
The Program will nurture high-caliber professionals on new and renewable energy via an international sci-tech cooperation platform such as joint research projects, joint research centers and demonstration projects.
VII. Organization and Management
The Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) and National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) will set up a steering committee on international cooperation by coordinating other government bodies, international organizations and prestigious research institutions to guarantee the smooth implementation of the Program.
MOST and NDRC will also send invitations to senior experts worldwide to establish an expert consultation committee，which could offer suggestions on priority areas, major tasks, and cooperation patterns of the Program to the steering committee.
Special funds will be earmarked for the launch of The Program. Capital from foreign governments and international organizations will also be attracted. Equal attention will also be given to soliciting capital from the business sector, especially the international energy giants.
(China.org.cn translated by Yuan Fang, November 27, 2007)