Friday, November 14, 2014

U.S.-China Energy Partnerships Get White House Nod in Major Emissions Deal

President Xi Jinping and President Barack Obama endorse continued U.S.-China cooperation on clean energy innovation. (Credit: Click to Enlarge.
As part of a major U.S.-China agreement to cut greenhouse gas emissions, President Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping also decided to keep plugging away at an energy research partnership viewed as a bright spot in the nations' relations.

The two countries renewed the U.S.-China Clean Energy Research Center (CERC), an effort at collaborating on advanced technology and applying new intellectual property protections to public-private partnerships.

CERC had been a signature program rolled out during Obama's first visit to China in late 2009 and was set to expire next year.  The White House on Tuesday said the countries extended the program through 2020.

"Energy cooperation is already a major bright spot in the relationship between the two counties," Kelly Gallagher, a senior White House adviser on climate and energy policy, said at a Brookings Institution event this month.

Gallagher said joint programs aim to drive down the cost curve of energy technologies.  "It's had a great run in its first five years," she said, referring to the U.S.-China CERC program. "In part because of the unique and important IP model embedded in that center."

Intellectual property, or IP rights, had been among the chief sticking points to getting a string of public-private partnerships associated with the program off the ground.  In 2011, two years after CERC's inception, the Department of Energy under former Secretary Steven Chu was able to negotiate a patent-protection agreement that greased the wheels for collaboration on advanced coal with carbon capture technology, electric vehicles and building efficiency.

For decades, U.S. companies have been reluctant to enter into commercial contracts with Chinese companies out of fear that confidential information would be stolen.  This agreement sought to nip that in the bud by setting up a government-sanctioned process for negotiating licenses so both countries benefit from jointly funded energy technology projects.

Under the latest deal announced by the White House, the United States and China will renew funding for coal, electric vehicle and efficiency projects and launch a new track on the nexus of energy and water.

Read More at U.S.-China Energy Partnerships Get White House Nod in Major Emissions Deal

No comments:

Post a Comment