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Scholars: US, China Both Can Grow in Renewables


National Academies Report on US-Sino Renewables Cooperation
Although many have noted that China has begun to steam ahead of the US in renewable energy production, a scholar noted that cooperation in the field offers much to both countries.

"Renewable energy is not a zero-sum game," said Derek Vollmer, a researcher with the National Academy of Sciences. "There is still a lot of room for everyone to grow." He made his comments at a Wilson Center presentation on US-Sino cooperation in renewables.

In 2009 China vastly increased its production of photovoltaic solar panels and installation of wind energy facilities. Its growing exports of renewable energy equipment to the US has raised eyebrows in the US, with Senators decrying that stimulus funds have been used to purchase wind turbines built by Chinese workers and the United Steelworkers union filing an unfair practices complaint against China with the US Trade Representative.

However, US companies are partnering with China in the field. Applied Materials has opened a major solar research facility in China. "We wanted to be closer to our customers," said Bill Morin, Applied's director of government affairs.

Georgetown professor Joanna Lewis noted that China's major foray into renewables is reducing the price of the technologies. Every doubling of production brings the cost of solar down 20%, Morin said.



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From the Web site: This is a guest post from Chris Nelder, an energy expert who has spent a decade studying and writing about energy and related issues. He has written two books (Profit from the Peak and Investing in Renewable Energy) . He blogs at GetREALList.com and writes the Energy Futurist column for SmartPlanet.

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