October 19, 2004 – Morgantown, W.Va. – If those attending this week’s 3rd US-China Clean Energy Workshop had their way, the growing Chinese demand for energy will not necessarily lead to increases in air pollution. “We are happy that WVU’s National Research Center for Coal and Energy agreed to host this workshop,” said Judd Swift, the Department of Energy’s deputy assistant secretary for international affairs in the Office of Fossil Energy.
DOE currently is implementing President’s Bush’s $2 billion, 10-year clean coal power initiative to develop an improved generation of coal-based electric power and pollution control technologies that will be environmentally superior to the technologies used in today’s power plants throughout the world.
Because of environmental problems such as poor air quality in cities like Beijing, Chinese government and industry officials are anxious to develop U.S. joint-ventures to promote state-of-the-art clean coal technologies.
“China is implementing NOx requirements as stringent or more stringent than in the U.S.,” said Guangwei Huang, executive director of H&J, Inc. “We need to find solutions,” he said.
The Chinese have been quick to recognize the power of marketing to develop a network of air monitoring stations in Beijing. Huang proposed using the stations as large, rotating billboards for advertisers like Coca Cola and China Telecom. The idea has taken off. So far H&J has built five ambient air quality monitoring stations in congested areas in Beijing, he said. The data will provide information to decision makers in developing air pollution controls, he said.
“There is a great need for innovative, efficient, environmentally friendly approaches to coal. WVU has had a long association with the Chinese people who send their best and brightest young people to the university to learn our technologies,” said Richard A. Bajura, NRCCE director and workshop host.
“We are happy to be able to expand our role to include promoting U.S. business through workshops like this and through research programs like the one we are now developing in Shenhua Group in Inter Mongolia,” he said. WVU will be examining the economic and environmental impacts of a coal-to-liquid transportation fuels plant being built in the province.
Universities are a great way to exchange technologies and training, said Yanjia Wang, director of the Energy and Environmental Technology Center at Tsinghua University. “Universities also offer independent assessments of technologies for finding the right ones for the region,” she said. “And universities help bridge the language problems,” she added in clear English.
“We look forward to more collaborations like these,” said WVU President David C. Hardesty, Jr.