U.S. and China to Cooperate on Biomass Research and Development

December 13, 2007

The United States and the People's Republic of China signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on December 12th to promote further research into and greater use of biomass. DOE and the U.S. Department of Agriculture signed the MOU with China's National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) on December 12th. The MOU outlines a variety of tasks for cooperative efforts between the two countries, focusing on the exchange of scientific, technical, and policy information on biomass production and its conversion into biofuels and biobased products and chemicals. The three agencies will form a Joint Working Group to oversee the effort, and one of its first tasks will be to establish a consistent method of assessing biomass resources in both countries. The agreement helped to set the stage for the third U.S.-China Strategic Economic Dialogue, which was held on December 12th and 13th. See the DOE press release, the full text of the MOU (PDF 109 KB), and the U.S. Treasury Department press release on the strategic economic dialogue. Download Adobe Reader.

The United States is the largest consumer and producer of vehicles in the world, and in 2006, China became the second-largest consumer of vehicles and the third-largest vehicle producer. China currently has about 31 million passenger cars on the road, a number that is expected to increase to 200 million in 20 years. To address both current and future fuel needs for both countries, the new MOU is mainly intended to advance the research and development of biofuels, particularly cellulosic biofuel. It follows two other MOUs signed in September 2007, when the DOE and NDRC agreed to promote the large-scale deployment of next-generation vehicle efficiency technologies in both countries and to increase cooperation on industrial energy efficiency in China. See the articles from the EERE Network News on the vehicle deployment and industrial efficiency MOUs.