Thank you

By Julia Beabout, PE

There has been so much positive feedback from the trade mission! All the delegates gained valuable new insight into China and its energy efficiency market. The business delegates came away with numerous new, actionable contacts and project leads, while the political delegates are now eager to engage more of their constituents with the Chinese market.

These successes were achieved through the hard work and dedication of a many people over numerous months. That group not only includes our own staff and volunteers here at the Alliance, but also our partners on the mission organizing team, namely: the US Commercial Service, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), ChinaSF, The US-China Clean Tech Center (UCCTC), and the folks at Optony. Without their teamwork, the mission would not have been possible. With deepest gratitude, we say thank you!

Trade Mission – SATURDAY, DEC 13, SHANGHAI

By Julia Beabout, PE

Although the trade mission officially ended on Friday, there was an opportunity to visit one more business in the low carbon development sector on Saturday morning before heading home: a business incubator sponsored by the Shanghai Industrial Finance Investment LTD (a.k.a. SHIF).

SHIF has two missions:  First, to invest in promising start-ups by providing capital and on-site office resources.  As part of this process, they can also facilitate the legal and governmental resources that new businesses need to get going in China.  Their portfolio includes several international sustainable businesses that focus on green building consulting and products, such as green walls and water treatment.  Second, they undertake development projects of their own in which they apply sustainable building principles and rating systems, as well as participate in green building data exchange.

SHIF has entered into a partnership with the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) to promote green building technologies and services in China.  As part of their agreement, some of their services are available to USGBC members for free.

SHIF incubator facilities are located in the northeast section of Shanghai near Fudan University and Shanghai University of Finance and Economics.  They offer a beautiful, quiet oasis in the midst of the bustling city.  Office rents are as low as a few hundred RMB per month.  Low cost, subsidized residential apartments are also available for startup staff.  The closest subway stop is currently at Fudan University, however, the subway will soon be extended to within convenient walking distance of the incubator campus.

Additional information is available through

And by [SHIF building1

Main incubator office building: Photo credit: Julia Beabout

Shanghai SHIF 1

Communal meeting area in main office building. Photo Credit: Julia Beabout

Shanghai SHIF 2

Common break area with kitchenette in main office building. Photo Credit: Julia Beabout

SHIF building2

One of several additional incubator office buildings on the campus. Photo credit: Julia Beabout

Shanghai SHIF 3

Espresso barista bar and café: Photo: Julia Beabout

Shanghai SHIF 4

Espresso barista bar and café: Photo: Julia Beabout

Shanghai SHIF 5

Typical common office space. Photo Credit: Julia Beabout

Shanghai SHIF 6

Common gymnasium. Photo Credit: Julia Beabout

Trade Mission – FRIDAY, DEC 12, CHANGZHOU

By Julia Beabout, PE

On the last official day of the trade mission, the some delegates returned to Beijing for follow-up meetings with the NDRC while the rest of the delegation traveled to Changzhou to learn about the Sustainable Energy Business District (SEBIZ) project known as the Wujin Industrial Zone (WIZ).  In cooperation with the US Department of Energy, numerous energy efficiency improvement measures have been identified in the existing WIZ buildings. US and Chinese energy efficiency solution providers are now being matched with these opportunities.

Trade mission delegates had the opportunity to interview and connect with the WIZ buyers and government officials in charge of the project.

Changzhou is located in Jiangsu Province which is just north of Shanghai.  Forbes has ranked Changzhou among the top 10 cities to do business.  Its chief industries are mechanical, electrical automobile and textile manufacturing.  Changzhou is recognizable by its famous lotus flower building which houses the Wujin District Planning Exhibition Hall.  The building has appeared in notable architectural media around the world.  The building is beautiful inside and out.

Lotus flower building

Wujin District Planning Exhibition Hall. Photo credit: Tyler Espinoza


Lotus flower inside1

Wujin District Planning Exhibition Hall – central atrium sky light. Photo credit: Tyler Espinoza


Lotus flower inside2

Wujin District Planning Exhibition Hall – central atrium interior. Photo credit: Tyler Espinoza


Following the Exhibition Hall tour, we were given a tour of the district’s new Low Carbon Town.  This is a pedestrian friendly, residential development that incorporates sustainable features such as roof mounted PV arrays, rain water collection, water conservation, and a semi-passive solar heating and air conditioning system in the site’s community building.


WIZ Low Carbon Town in Changzhou, Jiangsu Province. Photo credit: Tyler Espinoza



Photo credit: Tyler Espinoza


WIZ meeting

WIZ government officials, afternoon discussion forum. Photo credit: Tyler Espinoza


Changzhou mayor

Mayor of Changzhou receiving our delegation and offering a locally embroidered picture of Changzhou to the Chair of the California Energy Commission. Photo credit: Tyler Espinoza

Trade Mission – THURSDAY, DEC 11, QINGDAO

By Julia Beabout, PE

Today, the officials and companies from three cities came to us (as opposed to the mission participants traveling to the cities – a restful change!) While still in Qingdao, we had meetings with representatives  from three other Shangdong cities: Dongying, Linyi and Weifang.

These “second tier” cities  have sustainability goals and are in great need of energy efficiency solutions.  Many of the best and emerging opportunities for US businesses can now be found in the second tier cities.

The day began with a presentation by each city and continued with group meetings, as well as one-on-one meetings, between the trade mission participants and each city delegation.

Below are descriptions of each city:

Dongying is a young coastal city established in 1983.  It is home to China’s second largest oil field.  Much of its industry centers are around this resource.  However, it also has the most geothermal resources in Shandong province and receives 2600 hours of incident solar radiation per year.  It is home to the Solar Energy Institute, 48 clean energy enterprises, the Clean Energy Cooperation Area (CECA) and the China-US Clean Technology Transfer Center.

dongying city photo

Dongying. Photo credit: Mike DiDonato


Linyi is located in southeastern Shandong Province.  Sunzi’s famous  “Art of War” was unearthed here.  It was rated as a “top-50 best commercial city in China” by Forbes for three consecutive years. The city currently has 14 power generation projects underway including five wind projects and five PV projects.  Approximately 68% of its energy consumption is industrial.  In 2013, among all the second-tier cities in China, Linyi was named to the United Nations green industrial platform.

Linyi city

Linyi city. Photo credit: General Huo at


Weifang is located in the middle of Shandong Province.  It is home to approximately nine million people.  Their most famous resident is Mo Yan, the 2012 Nobel Prize winner for literature.  Its chief industry is agriculture and is also home to the largest salt chemical producer in China and has the largest underground salt reserves in the country.  Weifang is also a leading car parts manufacturer and home to two state-level development zones including Weifang High and New Tech Zone and Binhai Economic and Technological Development Area (BEDA).  It is one of the first China-US low-carbon eco pilot cities and maintains an office in Silicon Valley, California.  It has received several sustainable designations and titles including UN-Water Environmental Model City, the National Environmental Protection Model City and the first national recycling economy demonstration city.


Weifang city. Photo credit:

Trade Mission – WEDNESDAY, DEC 10, QINGDAO

[Please excuse delay in blogging the mission updates due to illness and technical issues.]

By Julia Beabout, PE

On Tuesday evening, after getting caught in one of China’s impressive traffic jams, we made our way to Qingdao.  Qingdao is located on the northeast coast of Shandong province which is the Province directly east of Beijing.  Although Qingdao is best known as the home of Tsingdao beer, it is also home to 8 million of China’s citizens and considered one of China’s most livable cities.  The city is slated by the national government to become a low-carbon city.  By 2015, Qingdao’s CO2 emissions must drop by 18% when compared with 2010 levels. The city has been aggressively implementing new measures for tracking and eliminating greenhouse gas emissions and implementing low-carbon technologies.

Qingdao is also exploring ways of working with the US, San Francisco in particular, to deepen economic exchange and low-carbon cooperation.  It has also expressed a strong desire to partner with leading U.S. clean technology companies to help meet its low-carbon goals. Qingdao plans to set up a representative office in San Francisco to support this economic and low-carbon cooperation.

The day started with a warm welcome by the mayor of Qindao.

Mayor of Qingdao1

Photo credit: Tyler Espinoza

Mayor of Qingdao2

Photo credit: Tyler Espinoza

After lunch we headed to our afternoon meetings with the local officials.  The officials gave us an update on the city and their plans for improving energy efficiency and reducing carbon emissions.  As an industrial and transport city, their focus is on reducing energy demand, water pollution, and emissions associated with boilers.  As a manufacturing center they plan to increase their focus on producing and using eco-friendly materials, as well as high efficiency appliances and lighting.

Qingdao meeting1

Photo credit: Tyler Espinoza

The afternoon concluded with one-one-meetings between our delegates and local businesses.

Historic Qingdao

Historic Qingdao. Photo credit: Tyler Espinoza