US and China Presidents Announce US-China Electric Vehicles Initiative, Six Other Measures to Strengthen Cooperation Between the Countries on Energy Issues
In Beijing, US President Barack Obama and China President Hu Jintao announced a package of seven measures to strengthen cooperation between the United States and China on clean energy, including: a Clean Energy Research Center; Electric Vehicles Initiative; Energy Efficiency Action Plan; Renewable Energy Partnership; 21st Century Coal; Shale Gas Initiative; and Energy Cooperation Program.
The US-China Electric Vehicles Initiative builds on the first-ever US-China Electric Vehicle Forum in September 2009. The two leaders emphasized their countries’ strong shared interest in accelerating the deployment of electric vehicles in order to reduce oil dependence, cut greenhouse gas emissions and promote economic growth. Activities under the initiative will include:
Joint standards development. The two countries will explore development of joint product and testing standards for electric vehicles. This will include common design standards for plugs to be used in electric vehicles, as well as common test protocols for batteries and other devices. Each country currently has extensive literature and data on its own standards. Making this information mutually available and working towards common standards can help facilitate rapid deployment of electric vehicles in both countries.
Joint demonstrations. The Initiative will link more than a dozen cities with electric vehicle demonstration programs in both countries. Paired cities will collect and share data on charging patterns, driving experiences, grid integration, consumer preferences and other topics. The demonstrations will help facilitate large-scale introduction of this technology.
Joint technical roadmap. A US-China task force will create a multi-year roadmap to identify R&D needs as well as issues related to the manufacture, introduction and use of electric vehicles. The roadmap will be made widely available to assist not just US and Chinese developers, but also the global automotive industry. It will be updated regularly to reflect advances in technology and the evolution of the marketplace.
Public awareness and engagement. The United States and China will develop and disseminate materials to improve public understanding of electric vehicle technologies. Building on the success of the first-even US-China Electric Vehicles Forum in September 2009, the United States and China will sponsor the event annually, alternating between the two countries. The Forum will bring together key stakeholders in both countries to share information on best practices and identify new areas for collaboration.
The United States and China are the world’s two largest automobile markets. In the past year, both countries have made major investments in electric vehicles. In the United States, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act expanded a $7,500 consumer tax credit for electric vehicles and included $2.4 billion to support battery manufacturing. The US government has also provided more than $8.5 billion to help automakers retool their factories to produce electric vehicles. China has also provided significant investments for battery research, and its economic recovery package includes significant funding for electric vehicle demonstrations and charging infrastructure.
Highlights of the other US-China measures are:
Clean Energy Research Center. The Center will facilitate joint research and development of clean energy technologies by teams of scientists and engineers from the United States and China, as well as serve as a clearinghouse to help researchers in each country. The Center will be supported by public and private funding of at least US$150 million over five years, split evenly between the two countries. Initial research priorities will be building energy efficiency, clean coal including carbon capture and storage, and clean vehicles.
Energy Efficiency Action Plan. Under the new plan, the two countries will work together to improve the energy efficiency of buildings, industrial facilities, and consumer appliances. US and Chinese officials will work together and with the private sector to develop energy efficient building codes and rating systems, benchmark industrial energy efficiency, train building inspectors and energy efficiency auditors for industrial facilities, harmonize test procedures and performance metrics for energy efficient consumer products, exchange best practices in energy efficient labeling systems, and convene a new US-China Energy Efficiency Forum to be held annually, rotating between the two countries.
Renewable Energy Partnership. Under the Partnership, the two countries will develop roadmaps for wide-spread renewable energy deployment in both countries. The Partnership will also provide technical and analytical resources to states and regions in both countries to support renewable energy deployment and will facilitate state-to-state and region-to-region partnerships to share experience and best practices. A new Advanced Grid Working Group will bring together US and Chinese policymakers, regulators, industry leaders, and civil society to develop strategies for grid modernization in both countries. A new US-China Renewable Energy Forum will be held annually, rotating between the two countries.
21st Century Coal. The two Presidents pledged to promote cooperation on cleaner uses of coal, including large-scale carbon capture and storage (CCS) demonstration projects. Through the new US-China Clean Energy Research Center, the two countries are launching a program of technical cooperation to bring teams of US and Chinese scientists and engineers together in developing clean coal and CCS technologies. The two governments are also actively engaging industry, academia, and civil society in advancing clean coal and CCS solutions.
The Presidents welcomed: (i) a grant from the US Trade and Development Agency to the China Power Engineering and Consulting Group Corporation to support a feasibility study for an integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) power plant in China using American technology; (ii) an agreement by Missouri-based Peabody Energy to participate in GreenGen, a project of several major Chinese energy companies to develop a near-zero emissions coal-fired power plant; (iii) an agreement between GE and Shenhua Corporation to collaborate on the development and deployment of IGCC and other clean coal technologies (earlier post); and (iv) an agreement between AES and Songzao Coal and Electric Company to use methane captured from a coal mine in Chongqing, China, to generate electricity and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Shale Gas Initiative. Under the Initiative, the US and China will use experience gained in the United States to assess China’s shale gas potential, promote environmentally-sustainable development of shale gas resources, conduct joint technical studies to accelerate development of shale gas resources in China, and promote shale gas investment in China through the US-China Oil and Gas Industry Forum, study tours, and workshops.
Energy Cooperation Program. The program will leverage private sector resources for project development work in China across a broad array of clean energy projects, to the benefit of both nations. More than 22 companies are founding members of the program. The ECP will include collaborative projects on renewable energy, smart grid, clean transportation, green building, clean coal, combined heat and power, and energy efficiency.