The U.S. and China recently concluded the 21st session of the U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) in Washington, D.C with some significant agreements about smart grid technology and wind power.
The JCCT was co-chaired by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke and U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk along with Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan. Since 1983, the JCCT has been the main forum for addressing trade issues and promoting commercial opportunities between the U.S. and China.
Recently, China has been implementing a series of "indigenous innovation" policies that favor Chinese companies over foreign companies – including American businesses – in a wide variety of industries, including alternative energy.
These policies establish government procurement preferences for products made with Chinese-developed and -owned intellectual property. The JCCT made progress on helping American businesses gain access to the Chinese market, specifically in the areas of smart grid technology and wind power.
Between 2011 and 2020 China plans to invest US$10 billion a year to construct a national smart grid system. It will also invest US$590 billion in building its electric power grid. At the JCCT, China agreed:
- To ensure that processes for developing the country’s smart grid standards are open and transparent; to provide opportunities for foreign businesses to participate in the development of standards on equal terms with Chinese companies; and to base its standards on relevant international standards. China also welcomed the chance to collaborate with the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology in developing its smart grid standards.
- To ensure that all Chinese enterprises, including state-owned enterprises, will make purchases and sales only based on commercial considerations.
China further committed that it will leave these decisions to commercial considerations between the companies. Additionally, it will provide equal treatment to foreign businesses, foreign-invested businesses, and Chinese businesses.
The renewable energy market in China is predicted to be $100 billion by 2020. Wind energy is country’s the fastest growing renewable energy sector. At the JCCT, China confirmed:
- It will recognize foreign companies’ experience outside China so these companies can meet experience requirements in order to provide equipment for large scale wind power projects.
- That foreign businesses can submit documentation about existing overseas wind power projects so as to demonstrate technical requirements for supplying Chinese wind power projects.
Image credit: FutureAtlas.com
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