WVU signs on to US-China energy research agenda

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January 18, 2011 by Trina Wafle, National Research Center for Coal and energy

Morgantown, W.Va. — Officials representing the U.S. and China agreed to a joint work plan officially launching a five-year research agenda for the U.S. China Clean Energy Research Center that includes an advanced coal research component coordinated by West Virginia University.

WVU professor Jerald J. Fletcher (L) signed a US-China agreement for a joint researched effort of the US Advanced Coal Technology Consortium which he directs for the US-China Clean Energy Research Center

WVU professor Jerald J. Fletcher (L) signed a US-China agreement for a joint researched effort of the US Advanced Coal Technology Consortium which he directs for the US-China Clean Energy Research Center.

The agreement was commemorated in an official signing ceremony in Washington, DC on January 18th.

DOE awarded $2.5 million to date of the $12.5 million in federal funding identified to support the five-year effort. Members of the U.S. Advanced Coal Technology Consortium will provide dollar-for-dollar matching funds. In China, Chinese government agencies and businesses will also provide $25 million, bringing the total for the combined U.S.-China Advanced Coal Technology Consortium to $50 million over 5 years.

The signing ceremony was part of a two-day “US-China Strategic Forum on Clean Energy Cooperation – US-China Relations in the Next Decade” held in Washington and attended by a long list of distinguished participants from both nations.

WVU was represented at the event by Vice President for Research and Economic Development Curt M. Peterson, and Jerald J. Fletcher, director of the WVU-based US-China Energy Center – a component of the University’s Advanced Energy Initiative – and director of the U.S. ACT Consortium.

The U.S.-China ACT Consortium will focus on achieving rapid progress in clean coal and carbon capture technology development, demonstration and enhancement – work that should lead to new export opportunities for U.S. companies while helping reduce global carbon emissions.

WVU President James Clements said, “Undertaking important energy research at a time when our nation and world are calling for technological advancement is a responsibility of our land-grant mission, especially in an energy state. The University is proud to do this in partnership with some of the most important energy research organizations in America and China.”

The US-China Clean Energy Research Center was formally announced by President Obama and China President Hu Jintao during President Obama’s trip to Beijing in November 2009.

Secretary Chu explained in announcing a portion of the U.S. funding commitment for the center last September that the U.S.-China Clean Energy Research Center will help accelerate the development and deployment of clean vehicle and clean coal technologies here at home.

“This new partnership will also create new export opportunities for American companies, ensure the United States remains at the forefront of technology innovation, and help to reduce global carbon pollution,” he said.

Peterson said the high profiles of all the consortium partners reinforce the University’s steady progress in energy research.

“The Advanced Energy Initiative at WVU facilitates opportunities like the new consortium and works to elevate the University’s position nationally and internationally as a source for quality energy research,” Peterson said.

US Advanced Coal Technology Consortium members include University of Wyoming, University of Kentucky, Wyoming State Geological Survey, Indiana Geological Survey, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory, National Energy Technology Laboratory, US-China Clean Energy Forum, World Resources Institute, Alstom, Babcock and Wilcox, Duke Energy, Inc., GE, Great Point Energy, LP Amina, and Ramgen.

CONTACT: Trina Karolchik Wafle, (304) 293-6038

Related News Items 

Bloomberg Businessweek; World Resources Institute

Story also appeared in The State Journal.