Task Force: Duke Energy, China Huaneng Make Clean Energy Pact

The Clean Air Task Force (CATF), a Boston-based environmental advocacy organization, on Aug. 10 commended the pioneering agreement between major U.S. and Chinese utilities to support the development of cleaner energy technologies.

Under terms of the agreement, senior executives from Duke Energy and China's largest utility, China Huaneng Group, will launch an immediate effort to share information, technology and other resources. Both companies pledged to explore long-term initiatives to reduce coal plant carbon emissions including carbon capture and storage (CCS), and to develop renewable energy technologies.

Beijing- and U.S.-based CATF staff facilitated contacts between Duke and Huaneng, as part of CATF effort to accelerate commercialization of low-carbon electricity generation technologies. These efforts include promoting partnerships between innovative energy companies in China and the West.

"This is exactly the type of cooperation that will be necessary to limit global carbon emissions," said Jonathan Lewis, an attorney and climate specialist for CATF. "Based on their common interests, China and the U.S. are natural partners rather than rivals on climate change. Together, the two countries account for about half the world's carbon dioxide emissions."

Duke is currently building a coal gasification project in Edwardsport, Ind., that would have exceptionally low emissions of pollutants such as sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide. Duke is seeking to deploy CCS technology at the plant. CCS is a process by which carbon dioxide is removed from coal emissions and then injected deep underground.

Huaneng is the majority shareholder in China's GreenGen gasification project and is actively developing post-combustion carbon capture systems at coal plants in Beijing and Shanghai.

"This agreement is a model for how both countries can work together and find common solutions," Lewis concluded.

The Clean Air Task Force is comprised of 20 professionals with backgrounds in science, engineering, law, economics and public. CATF receives no industry funding. For more information about the Clean Air Task Force, see http://www.catf.us/.