US and China to collaborate on energy-water efforts

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    The US and China are continuing to collaborate on a project to address water-related aspects of energy production and use, which includes ways to improve sustainable hydropower design and operation.

    The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced recently it has selected the University of California, Berkeley to lead a consortium of university, nonprofit, utility, and national laboratory partners in a new technical track under the U.S.-China Clean Energy Research Center (CERC).

    Once the award is finalized, the US consortium will match or exceed DOE funding of $12.5 million and work with their Chinese counterparts to bolster collaborative efforts to ensure energy, water, and environmental security and combat climate change. The Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology, with its consortium partners, has pledged an equivalent amount of resources, bringing the total bilateral effort to $50 million over five years.

    “Addressing the impact of water resource scarcity and variability on energy systems in the US, China, and around the world will require collaborative efforts like CERC to develop technical solutions” said Secretary Moniz. “The US consortium…will leverage cutting-edge science and technology research capabilities to ensure our collective energy and water security.”

    The team are looking to build the foundation for the technologies and expertise that will position the US and China to continue to thrive in a future with constrained energy and water resources. The team will use innovative technologies, modeling capabilities, and analytical research to explore and advance: water use reduction at thermoelectric plants; treatment and management of non-traditional waters; improvements in sustainable hydropower design and operation; climate impact modeling, methods, and scenarios to support improved understanding of energy and water systems; and data and analysis to inform planning and policy. In coming months, members of the US consortium will develop joint work plans with members of the Chinese consortium.

    The energy-water track was announced in November 2014 by President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping. In addition to expanding work under CERC for research in energy and water, the announcement by President Obama and President Xi extended the collaborative efforts of CERC to 2020, with an additional investment of up to $150 million to continue initiatives underway. The current efforts focus on the development and deployment of clean vehicles, building energy efficiency, and advanced coal technologies for carbon capture, utilization and sequestration. Through this new joint effort, DOE seeks to transform how water is used in energy production and electricity generation, while improving water quality and availability for a diverse range of human applications.

    Source : WP