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Think tank hopes clean energy ideas will be acted upon
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China's top energy think tank is urging delegates at the first China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogue, which started yesterday in Washington, to adopt its initiatives and put them into action.

Han Wenke, co-chair of the China-US Clean Energy Forum, told China Daily that the governments of both countries should listen to the private sector and create favorable conditions for clean energy cooperation between the two countries.

The China-US Clean Energy Forum is a private-sector vehicle that promotes bilateral cooperation on clean energy.

Han's US co-chair, Stan Barer, is a well known lawyer in the United States.

Han, who is also director-general of the Energy Research Institute of the National Development and Reform Commission, expressed hope that the China-US Clean Energy Forum, initiated by US federal senator Maria Cantwell, will help facilitate clean energy cooperation.

He said the forum has already made great progress following in-depth discussion between the Chinese and US partners.

Together, they have agreed upon eight initiatives relating to the promotion of clean energy cooperation between China and the US.

The initiatives cover the establishment of a joint energy research center/laboratory, the sharing of knowledge and technology needed to create a "smart grid" (including transmission and distribution networks), the setting up of a coordinated program to accelerate development of advanced coal projects, as well as increasing efficiency and lowering manufacturing costs of solar photovoltaic systems.

Other initiatives called for by the China-US Clean Energy Forum include jointly researching and promoting the utilization of hybrid and pure electric motor vehicles, developing bio-fuels, eliminating barriers including import tariffs and export controls on technology transfer and creating clean energy demonstration zones to encourage innovation.

Both nations participating in the forum have handed the list of initiatives to their respective governments, said Han, who stressed that they are hopeful delegates at the first China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogue will adopt the initiatives and put them into action.

Energy cooperation is one of the major subjects on the agenda for the high-level meeting, he said.

Each of the eight initiatives is potentially a step toward transforming the energy systems of both countries, he said, adding that the time is right for the two governments to achieve a greater level of cooperation and success.

An agreement between the two nations on clean energy could be a catalyst for economic recovery, Han added.

Progress in cooperating on clean energy would also create jobs, enhance the competitiveness of the nations and benefit the world's efforts to fight global warming, he said.

China and the US are both major consumers of energy and producers of greenhouse gasses. Both are determined to increase energy efficiency, cut greenhouse gas emissions and develop clean energy. Therefore, Han said, "there exists a great potential for intensive cooperation between our countries".

"In developing and utilizing clean energy and combating greenhouse gas emissions, China and the United States share many common interests and there is no reason why our countries should not forge a close relationship in the clean energy field," Han said.

"What we should do now, to meet the challenges together, is create a favorable environment for clean energy cooperation and generate more opportunities for enterprises from the two countries."

China has set a goal of cutting energy consumption per unit of GDP by some 20 percent from 2005 to 2010.

(China Daily July 28, 2009)

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