To coincide with President Xi Jinping’s state visit in October, the Government has announced a deal with China to position UK companies as partners of choice for low carbon energy.
The jointly signed clean energy partnership was announced in Manchester on the final day of the President’s high-profile UK visit.
The deal establishes co-operation in low carbon energy research and industry and is expected to encourage more investment in clean technologies in both countries.
It comes a year after a similar agreement between China and the US, which promised to create to create “a much bigger market for investment” in low carbon goods and services.
‘Partner of choice’
In a statement, the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) said the partnership will “strengthen the UK’s position as the partner of choice for China in low carbon energy and help to pave the way for effective energy relations between the two counties.
“The UK companies in the low carbon sector will gain more opportunities to access the largest energy market in the world; enabling them to share expertise in technology and innovation to secure new business”, it added.
As part of the partnership, China has already announced investments in the UK offshore wind and electric vehicle markets, as well as industry and research collaboration in marine energy and green buildings.
The state-owned China Three Gorges (CTG) power company is set to acquire a 30 per cent stake in the Moray offshore wind project in Scotland, while a separate joint venture will see 2,000 electric buses built for the UK market.
Meanwhile, the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Scotland has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with organisations in the Chinese city of Qingdao to support the development of a marine energy test site, and the UK-based green building centre, BRE, has announced a £200 million sustainable urbanisation research and development programme with Chinese partners.
The UK’s Committee on Climate Change, which has recently voiced concerns over a looming ‘policy gap’ in the UK, has also agreed to establish a process of joint work with China’s National Expert Committee on Climate Change.
The most high-profile part of the deal involves China’s role in the controversial Hinkley Point nuclear power station, with China’s state-owned China General Nuclear Power Group taking a 33.5 per cent stake in the £18 billion project.