US tidal power developer signs deal with China

Verdant Power's underwater MHK device

Tidal power developer Verdant Power has signed a memorandum of understanding to become the first US company to work on marine and tidal projects in China.

The agreement with renewable energy company China Energy Conservation Environment Protection Group (CECEP) was signed during a recent US clean energy mission to China led by Department of Commerce Secretary Gary Locke.

According to the Department of Energy, the US has an undeveloped hydropower potential of over 250,000 MW, while China has nearly double that with a potential of over 475,000 MW.

“Marine kinetic hydropower is an energy resource that is greatly underused,” says Verdant Power’s CEO Ronald Smith. “This historic signing is a significant first step for both countries in the collaborative development of this type of renewable energy.”

Verdant Power is currently building its first installation in New York’s East River, where underwater marine hydrokinetic turbines will generate up to 500 MW for the city.

The announcement comes as Ernst & Young’s latest Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Indices reports that China is now on a par with the US as the most attractive location in which to invest in renewable energy projects.

China invested $34.6 billion in clean energy projects last year – nearly twice as much as the US – and is now the world’s leading market in installed wind power capacity.

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04 June 2010