Chinese and North Carolinian Energy Companies to Pick Each Others’ Brains


North Carolina is on the move, from a renewable energy perspective. In the past several days, it has worked toward signing a technology-exchange agreement with China (and toward limiting the construction of industrial-sized windmills – a renewable energy quagmire, it seems). The Duke-China pact has gained significant international attention, as it is the first such agreement between the two countries and, hopefully, a step in the right direction for a successful UN climate change agreement (set for 2012). (The U.S. and China are the world’s leading sources of greenhouse gas emissions.)

Duke Energy was set to sign a one-year memorandum with China Huaneng in Beijing Monday, thus beginning a joint venture intended to benefit the countries’ respective renewable energy endeavors. For example, Duke will use information gained from one of its current projects (the study of carbon capture and underground storage at an Indiana coal-gasification plant) to benefit several similar projects by China Huaneng Group (in Shanghai and Tianjin).

The Charlotte Observer report details on the technology agreement between Duke Energy (the U.S.’s third-largest utility) and China Huaneng Group (China’s largest power company). Under the agreement, the companies will engage in a series of meetings, exchanging information, exploring long-term emissions-reducing initiatives, developing various forms of renewable energy, and cutting costs involved in renewable energy development. Duke reportedly hopes to reach more such agreements with China.

Duke reportedly hopes the agreement-spurred actions will speed the development of CO2-capture technology (for coal-powered plants) and pave the way for the enactment of global climate treatises. Other climate change experts believe the deal may signify the countries’ potential for partnership instead of rivalry.

Sarah Harper is a professional writer based in San Francisco, California. Her interests include sustainability, government policy, and international politics. In her free time, Sarah enjoys toying with the idea of holistic health, overanalysis, and plotting world exploration.

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