U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations Highlights Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s China Energy Group Efforts in China
[30 July, 2009] This week, in conjunction with the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue meetings in Washington DC, the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations made a number of statements regarding U.S.-China collaborative efforts on climate change and energy efficiency, highlighting the work of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s China Energy Group.
Senator John Kerry, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, discussed the challenge of climate change during a speech at the National Press Club on July 29th, noting that “nothing less than a complete and collaborative transformation of the global energy economy will be enough to tackle this crisis.” Senator Kerry went on to note that:
“The good news is, we have a strong foundation to build on. We’ve developed a broad set of ongoing close collaborations with China on energy, the environment and even climate change. One example of the kind of success we’ve had—and the kind we need to replicate—is a pilot energy efficiency program the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab created at two steel plants in Shandong. The project went so well that Beijing got excited about it—and expanded the pilot into a nationwide program covering China’s top one thousand energy-consuming enterprises. These companies account for one-third of China’s total energy consumption, and the government-mandated reductions will be roughly sixteen times the electricity consumed by New York City. Successful collaborations like this one helped convince Chinese leaders to embrace a Ten Year Framework for US-China energy cooperation last year, as well as the agreement—signed just last week in China with Energy and Commerce Secretaries Steven Chu and Gary Locke—to build joint clean energy research centers."
Similar sentiments were reflected by Senator Kerry in an article published in the Financial Times on July 26th, in which he also noted the work of LBNL’s China Energy Group, explaining “We are already cooperating on clean energy. An energy efficiency programme at two steel plants in Shandong, run in partnership with a US laboratory, grew into a China-wide programme covering a thousand enterprises. Stories such as this convinced the Chinese leadership to embrace a 10-year framework for US-China energy cooperation, and led to the agreement to build joint clean energy research centres, signed this month. Now we need to extend these partnerships to climate change.”
These statements were based on a more extensive discussion of the history of U.S.-China collaboration on energy efficiency and climate change and proposed steps to move forward in the Senate Report on Broadening the Bilateral: Seizing the Opportunity for Meaningful U.S.-China Collaboration on Climate Change released by the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations on July 21st. Citing an Energy Policy article by China Energy Group researchers Jiang Lin, Nan Zhou, Mark Levine, and David Fridley, the Senate Report explains that the recent increases in energy use and emissions in China “have been driven by the rapid industrialization of the country, including infrastructure development and a surge in heavy industry.” The Senate Report notes recent reductions in energy intensity in China and, citing a China Energy Group report by Lynn Price and two Chinese collaborators, explains that “among the most important programs in this effort are the ‘Top 1,000’ enterprises programs, which cover a set of enterprises responsible for one third of all energy consumption in China. This effort requires companies to perform and publish energy audits and calculate their energy intensity. Each enterprise is then required to draw up plans to achieve required reductions, and report annual, measurable results to the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), a government body with broad administrative and planning control over the Chinese economy.” The Senate Report then highlights the efforts of the China Energy Group in its discussion of long-standing U.S.-China partnerships:
“Among the most fruitful collaborations has been work undertaken in China on energy efficiency with help from U.S. experts – both from the private sector and our national laboratories. Notably, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) has provided technical assistance to the Chinese regarding energy efficiency for over 20 years, including assistance related to the development and implementation of China’s Top-1000 program. Working together with researchers and policy-makers in China, LBNL helped design and pilot the initial efforts in Shandong Province that led to the national-level Top-1000 program. LBNL has also worked closely with the China National Institute of Standardization in the development of over 20 minimum energy efficiency standards and energy efficiency labeling specifications.”