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US-China CERC to develop energy and water security

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Hydrocarbon Engineering,

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has issued a US$12.5 million Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for a new technical track under the US-China Clean Energy Research Centre (CERC) that addresses water related aspects of energy production and use. The solicitation calls for the formation of a US-based consortium to work with Chinese counterparts to bolster collaborative efforts to help ensure energy, water, and environmental security and combat climate change. The consortium will be funded with US$12.5 million DOE support and US$12.5 million recipient cost share for a total of US$25 million over the 5 year period of performance.

“Water resource scarcity, variability and uncertainty are impacting energy systems in the US and China,” said Secretary Moniz. “Increasing collaboration through the CERC engages the technical resources of both countries, opening opportunities for researchers and industrial partners to address our common challenges in the energy-water nexus. By leveraging science, technology and innovation, we can ensure our collective energy and water security.”

This US investment will be matched by an equivalent effort in China, bringing the total bilateral investment to US$50 million. The new energy-water track was initially announced in November 2014, when President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping renewed their commitment to CERC with US$200 million in total funding over five years. In addition to expanding work under CERC by US$50 million for research in energy and water, the announcement in November extends ongoing collaborative efforts to 2020, adding US$150 million to continue initiatives already underway. These focus on the development and deployment of clean vehicles, building energy efficiency, and advanced coal technologies for carbon capture, utilisation and sequestration.

The FOA also seeks to transform how water is used in energy production and electricity generation, while improving water quality and availability for a diverse range of human applications. It builds on the contents of The Water-Energy Nexus: Challenge and Opportunities, which the DOE issued in June 2014.

Topics covered in the FOA include: water use reduction at thermoelectric plants; treatment and management of non-traditional waters; improving sustainable hydropower design and operation; climate impact modelling, methods, and scenarios to support improved understanding of energy and water systems; and data and analysis to inform planning, policy, and other decisions.

Initially launched in November 2009 by President Barack Obama and former Chinese President Hu Jintao, CERC accelerates development and deployment of clean energy technologies for the benefit of both countries. CERC’s mission is to facilitate technical collaboration in mutually agreed areas and accelerate transition to an efficient and low-carbon economy, while mitigating the long term threat of climate change.

Access the FOA in full here.

Adapted from press release by Rosalie Starling

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