Panel meets to explore benefits of U.S.-China energy partnership

Source: Duke Energy

U.S.-China partnerships to develop more advanced and sustainable electricity generation and distribution will speed technology development, promote economic growth, and drive local job creation in both countries. 

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke, Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers, and China-based ENN USA President Sun Yunquan will discuss the benefits of such a partnership during a panel discussion, "A Roadmap for Growth: U.S.-China Private Sector Cooperation in the Power Sector," to be held in the Woodrow Wilson Center. It is part of the China Environment Forum's "Cooperative Competitors" series. 

The basis for the discussion is a Garten Rothkopf study of four power technologies: solar photovoltaic (PV) manufacturing and installation; smart grid development; coal integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) and with carbon capture; and clean coal technology. 

"The common misconception is that U.S.-China partnerships can result in U.S. jobs going overseas," said Rogers. "This study demonstrates that for the power sector, new and high paying jobs will be created in both countries – wherever new infrastructure is built, no matter where the technology is developed." 

The study found shared benefits across all four technologies. From research and development to manufacturing, construction and installation, and operations and maintenance, tens of thousands of direct and in-direct jobs can be created in each country. Approximately 73 percent of those direct jobs created as a result of power sector development will stay at home. This is true even in those cases where the capital equipment was imported. 

These employment projections were developed after more than 30 interviews with power  project and technology company executives and academics, and were based on actual budgeted estimates, according to the report.
The United States and China account for 42 percent of global energy demand and both will spend trillions of dollars by 2030 to upgrade their infrastructure to meet increased demand while reducing coal dependency and reducing their carbon footprint. 

The Rothkopf study found the U.S. and Chinese energy firms taking advantage of opportunities in solar PV, wind, and battery production are benefiting from U.S. and Chinese incentives to grow their operations, create new jobs, and establish global supply chains that reduce costs. 

"This report only confirms what we've been saying -- we need to further the development of the ladder of cooperation between government and business leaders in these two great countries," Rogers said. "It is the key to developing the technologies we need to meet our energy needs in an environmentally responsible way, while bolstering our economy through job creation."

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