At a recent summit Chinese President Hu Jintao and President Barack Obama met to discuss disputes between the world’s two largest economies and energy consumers. Particularly, China’s wind power subsidies and its slowdown in exports of rare earths minerals, used in everything from wind turbines to cell phones, which have dominated headlines in recent months.
A Reuters article explains, that with rising concerns about oil prices, now above $90 a barrel, energy security, and global warming, officials said the world’s biggest developed country and the biggest developing country have much to learn from each other. Progress can be made on sharing technologies on efficiency, cleaner coal, and development of renewables like wind and solar power, they said.
During the forum, officials from both governments unveiled plans to continue joint research and development in clean energy — electric vehicles, clean coal and energy-efficient buildings — through the U.S.-China Clean Energy Research Center. First announced in 2009, the centers will be supported by at least $150 million from private and public interests over five years.
In addition, several deals were signed between U.S. and Chinese companies. General Electric and China Huadian Corp signed a joint agreement for gas turbines in China that will generate $350 million in U.S. exports. GE also signed a deal withShenhua, one of the world’s biggest coal firms, on coal gasification. The U.S. Energy Department said that the deal could lead to $100 million in U.S. exports. In addition, Alcoa and the China Power Investment Corporation signed an agreement to collaborate on a range of aluminum and clean energy projects representing $7.5 billion in potential investment both within China and abroad. U.S. utilities Duke Energy and American Electric Power also signed deals involving cleaner-burning coal.
What do you think about these deals with China? Are they the solution?