* China, U.S. deals involve renewable energy, clean coal
* China passes U.S. in installed wind power capacity
By Tom Doggett and Timothy Gardner
WASHINGTON, Jan 14 American and Chinese energy
companies will sign several commercial agreements next week
during Chinese President Hu Jintao's state visit to Washington,
a U.S. official said on Friday.
The deals will involve trade in renewable energy, an area
where the United States and China are competing for market
The agreements could also include biofuels and clean coal
technology. Cleaner burning coal would help slow output of
greenhouse gas emissions in the world's top two emitters of
gases linked to global warming.
The U.S. Energy Department would not name the companies
that will sign the agreements, or say how much the deals are
Steven Chu, the U.S. energy secretary, and his Chinese
counterpart, will oversee the agreement signings next Tuesday
at a conference in Washington.
China recently surpassed the United States as the country
with the largest amount of installed wind power capacity,
according to the environmental group Greenpeace.
One new wind turbine is built somewhere in the world every
30 minutes, with one in three of them installed in China, the
environmental group says.
As the clean energy race heats up, tensions between the
China and the United States on trade are rising. The United
Steelworkers union accuses China of using illegal subsidies and
other trade distorting policies to create jobs in its clean
energy business, costing U.S jobs. [ID:nN13294072]
CHINA LOOKS TO INVEST IN U.S.
Besides next week's agreements, China in general is looking
to invest in U.S. energy market opportunities.
Kate Gordon, a vice president for energy policy at the
liberal think tank the Center for American Progress, said China
may invest in U.S. energy in ways that could add jobs to the
U.S. economy and in some ways that could take away jobs.
Some Chinese electric car, wind and solar companies are
thinking about coming to the United States to build
"Those investments are pretty much just only positive,
those are job creating investments," Gordon said.
But China may also be interested in buying American
companies that have not yet licensed their technology. "One of
the things we have been seeing ... is a lot of outreach to labs
to try to buy technology before it has been licensed and get
the technology to move wholesale to China for development."
Another area of Chinese interest in U.S. energy is coal.
China's coal demand is rising while U.S. demand may fall as
natural gas output rises and as Washington clamps down on
With China's booming economy and growing middle class
boosting power demand there, U.S. companies also hope to export
clean coal technologies to the Asian giant.
North Carolina-based utility Duke Energy (DUK.N), whose
Chief Executive Jim Rogers will attend next week's energy
conference, previously signed a deal with China to develop
smart electricity grids and capture emissions from coal-fired
(Reporting by Tom Doggett and Timothy Gardner; Editing by