US-China conference discusses green tech

October 23, 2009 6:44:08 PM PDT
A high-level conference is underway in Palo Alto trying foster more green technology cooperation between China and Silicon Valley, but there's also talk of growing competition.

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Two hundred and fifty delegates from China and the U.S. have come together to forge a common vision -- cooperation on green energy technology.

One of Silicon Valley's leading chipmakers, Marvell, thinks China will make a strong U.S. partner.

"They have a passion not only to support solving this most pressing issue around the world, it creates tons of jobs for China and same thing for the U.S.," says Weili Dai, Marvell's co-founder.

Cooperation is seen as a way to speed up development of new products and projects.

"We're starting to see that certain renewable energy projects are starting to happen more quickly as different countries and companies are able to combine their technologies," says John Skinner from Intel Eco-Technology.

U.S. companies already are helping China to create its first eco-city, Langfang, which will be used as a model of green technology. The U.S.-China Green Council and its Chinese counterpart think that's only the beginning.

"What's the best way of collaboration between the two countries? Really hoping to really get some concrete business models, some pragmatic ways of doing things in this area," says Professor He Xiaoying from the Hi-Tech Industrialization Association.

While cooperation is the key word, it is expected that U.S. and China will become keen competitors as they develop and sell their technology globally.

"Competition brings innovation, and in this field, America has many advantages. Both sides can join hands and make the advantage of both sides a great advantage for our cooperation," says Gao Zhansheng, China's consul general in San Francisco.

As a rapidly industrializing country, China will spending a lot of time building out new power grids while the U.S. will be focusing on retrofits. Either way, both countries have a lot of ideas that they would like to share with each other.

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