China joins U.S. FutureGen project

December 16, 2006

China has joined the United States in the FutureGen International Partnership, a plan to develop clean-burning coal, the U.S. Department of Energy said Friday.

The United States and China also signed an Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Protocol, which renewed cooperation to advance alternative energy technology including solar, wind and biomass. The agreements arose from the U.S.-China Strategic Economic Dialogue in Beijing, the Energy Department said in a news release.

"China and the U.S. share a common energy resource in coal, so it is imperative that we work together to find ways to use coal effectively, efficiently, and without contributing emissions," Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman said. "Our joint efforts in developing new energy technologies including clean coal and renewable energy will enhance our nations' energy security, provide for economic growth, and reduce harmful pollutants."

The $1 billion FutureGen is a 10-year effort that began in 2003. Once operational, the plant will remove and isolate carbon dioxide while producing electricity and hydrogen, making it the cleanest fossil fuel-fired plant in the world, the department said.

In renewing the energy protocol, U.S. and Chinese officials pledged to advance clean renewable energy technologies through discussions on market potential and commercialization, and research and development.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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