The third in a series of joint US-China Clean Energy Research Centres (CERCs) will be led by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and focus on energy efficient buildings, it was announced last week.
The consortium, which includes Oak Ridge National Lab, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of California-Davis, The Dow Chemical Company, Honeywell and General Electric, will receive $12.5 million from the US Government, matched by at least $12.5 million from the partners, and $25 million from Chinese counterparts over the next five years.
“Energy efficiency in buildings has the greatest potential for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the next two decades of any energy sector,” says Berkeley scientist Mark Levine, who will lead the consortium.
In the US, buildings account for nearly 40% of energy consumption, while China’s astonishing rate of urbanisation means that it now accounts for nearly half of all new floor space built every year.
But savings of 40% on energy consumption in existing buildings or up to 60% on new buildings can be achieved through efficiency measures.
The new CERC will look at a range of these measures including monitoring and control systems, glazing materials, insulation, cool roofs and lighting. It will also build a test centre in China to evaluate new technologies and systems.
The establishment of the CERCs was announced last year by President Barack Obama and President Hu Jintao. The first two centres, one led by the University of Michigan focusing on clean vehicles and a second led by West Virginia University on clean coal technologies, have already been outlined.
In total, the funding for the CERCs across the two nations could be at least $150 million. The US funds will be used to support work carried out at US institutions, while China is expected to announce its participating institutions shortly.
“This new partnership will create new export opportunities for American companies, ensure the US remains at the forefront of technology innovation, and help to reduce global carbon pollution,” says Assistant Secretary of Energy for Policy & International Affairs David Sandalow, who made the announcement.
For further information:
US and China join forces on clean energy research (8-Sept)
China leads US as most attractive renewables market (8-Sept)
China and EU to create ‘smart cities’ (17-Sept 2009)
US and China join forces on energy efficient buildings (17-Jul 2009)
12 October 2010