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Duke Energy and China team on clean energy

disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only
by Staff Writers
Beijing (UPI) Aug 11, 2009
Duke Energy, America's third-largest electric utility, and China Huaneng Group, China's largest electricity producer, will explore renewable and other clean-energy technologies as part of a memorandum of understanding signed Monday in Beijing.

Under the agreement, the two companies will exchange information and explore potential long-term cooperative initiatives to reduce coal plant emissions and develop other renewable sources of electricity generation. In addition to coal gasification, capturing and sequestering carbon from coal-fired power plants is expected to be a key issue for the Duke-Huaneng collaboration, as these plants account for about half of the world's man-made greenhouse gas emissions.

Both China and the United States use coal to generate most of their electricity and together account for about 40 percent of the world's greenhouse gases.

"To deal with global warming requires rapid action from all of us, and clearly China Huaneng Group and Duke Energy are playing a leadership role on this issue," Jim Rogers, chief executive officer of Duke Energy, said in a release.

"China has committed to rapidly developing clean-energy technologies, as has the U.S.," Rogers added. "Working together, the U.S. and China can commercialize and drive down the cost of these technologies for the benefit of the entire world."

Duke Energy and China Huaneng Group both have projects under way to capture carbon from coal-fired plants.

Charlotte, N.C.-based Duke Energy is building a 630-megawatt integrated gasification combined cycle in Edwardsport, Ind., scheduled to go online in 2012. It is also building an 825 megawatt pulverized coal plant in Cliffside, N.C., and retiring 1,000 megawatts of older, less efficient coal plants. Both projects have received more than $250 million in U.S. Department of Energy clean coal tax incentives, the company said.

Huaneng, for its part, has built China's first CO2 capturing demonstration facility in Beijing. Also under construction in Shanghai is a larger-scale CO2 capturing facility in one of Huaneng's coal-fired power plants scheduled to be operational by the end of this year.

In addition, Huaneng is building the "GreenGen" 250 megawatt IGCC demonstration power plant in Tianjin, due to be operational in 2011. The company plans to sequester about 80 percent of GreenGen's CO2 emissions and to more than double the plant's capacity.

Although the agreement is non-binding, the memorandum indicates that the two companies could "explore the possibility of forming a formal business relationship."

"We look forward to a mutual sharing of information and technology between the two companies and to jointly promote the development of clean energy technology," said China Huaneng Group Vice President Huang Yongda.

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