U.S., China cooperate on green ideas

February 13, 2009 7:04:12 PM PST
Creating green-tech jobs is one of the key goals of the federal stimulus bill. It's a big part of the economic future of the country.

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But it's also a focus in other parts of the world -- like china.

The U.S. and China don't speak the same language, but the two countries do share an appetite for energy -- consuming nearly half of the world's total supply.

A delegation of Chinese energy experts is visiting Silicon Valley in search of new ideas and technology for clean tech solutions.

A common goal is to create jobs at a time of economic distress.

"When we look, when China looks at projects for infrastructure for stimulating jobs, this is the bridges and roads of the future -- energy. And making investments here will help our future, our kids, as well as create jobs," said Applied Technologies CTO Mark Pinto, Ph.D.

Green tech could help to replace the two and a half million U.S. jobs lost last year.

In China, the global recession is forcing the closure of factories, leaving migrant workers jobless.

China has focused on large-scale projects, such as the Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze River.

Professor Zhou Dadi of China's Energy Research Institute thinks solar's prime time may be 20 years off due to higher cost.

Still, China has found a good use for solar.

"China has the largest production of solar heaters for the heated water supply. We do have a lot already," said Professor Dadi.

Applied Materials, which hosted the conference has a test facility in China.

Former Transportation Secretary Norm Mineta says the U.S. and China can and should work together.

"It really is a question of the importance of the need to cooperate so that we can make a bottom-line effort to make it productive for everybody," said Mineta.

While the emphasis here has been on solar-generated power, the Chinese delegation also will be looking into wind power and cellulosic ethanol as they tap into experts here in the Silicon Valley and in the Pacific Northwest.

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