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BEIJING, CHINA - The United States and China today announced that China will join the Government Steering Committee of the FutureGen project making China the third country to join the United States in the FutureGen International Partnership.  The U.S. and China also signed an Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Protocol renewing cooperation in advancing clean technology including solar, wind, and biomass.  The agreements were made as an outcome of the U.S.-China Strategic Economic Dialogue (SED) in Beijing.

"We welcome China and their expertise to the FutureGen project.  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," Secretary 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 initiative is a ten-year effort announced by President Bush in 2003.  Once operational, this plant will remove and sequester carbon dioxide while producing electricity and hydrogen, making it the environmentally cleanest fossil fuel fired power plant in the world.  FutureGen will initiate operations in 2012 and will be the first plant in the world to produce both electricity and commercial-grade hydrogen from coal, simultaneously.  Virtually every aspect of the 275 megawatt prototype plant will be based on cutting-edge technology.  Once completed, the technology will be used by member countries to reduce emissions around the globe.

In addition, the U.S.-China Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Protocol renews the joint collaboration in developing and deploying clean, energy efficient and renewable energy technology including solar, wind, biomass, geothermal, and hydrogen energy.  Secretary Bodman and China's Minister of Science and Technology (MOST) Xu Guanhua pledged to continue work to advance clean renewable energy technologies through discussions on market potential and commercialization and methods and results of research and development.

During bilateral discussions with MOST Minister Xu Guanhua and NDRC Minister Ma Kai, Secretary Bodman also highlighted ongoing cooperation to advance energy security through a number of cooperative efforts.  These efforts include the Asia Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate (APP); the International Partnership for a Hydrogen Economy; the Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum; the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor; and the Generation IV International Forum.  Secretary Bodman met with China's Atomic Energy Authority Chairman Sun Qin during which he underscored the importance of the U.S. and China's cooperation in nonproliferation work and discussed U.S. private sector development and availability of the most advanced, safe and cost-effective nuclear energy technology available.  These meetings follow Secretary Bodman's meeting Thursday with U.S. business leaders in China where they discussed current business opportunities and the role of the business community in the development and advancement of science and technology in the energy sector.

Earlier in the day Secretary Bodman participated the SED's fifth and final session on Energy, Environment and Sustainable Development with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Steve Johnson, NDRC Minister Ma Kai, and China's State Environmental Protection Administration Zhou Shengxian.  Moderated by Treasury Secretary Paulson, Secretary Bodman and his counterparts discussed a myriad of energy related issues.

Secretary Bodman traveled to China after visiting Japan and Korea earlier this week. Tomorrow Secretary Bodman will participate in the Five-Party Energy Dialogue with China, India, Japan and South Korea where Secretary Bodman will highlight the importance of diversification of supplies and suppliers, improved energy efficiency, and the use of strategic oil reserves in advancing global energy security.

Media contact(s):

Anne Womack Kolton, (202) 586-4940