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

Trade Mission – TUESDAY, DEC 9, TIANJIN

By Julia Beabout, PE

We were up early this morning in order to make our way from Beijing to Tianjin.  Tianjin is located about an hour’s drive east of Beijing in Shandong province.  It is the fifth largest city in China.  It is home to 13 million people and carries provincial level status.  It was one of the first cities in China designated for low carbon development and is an important market for U.S. energy efficiency products and services.

The Tianjin Economic Development Area (TEDA), which was formed in 1984, was our host.  TEDA works closely with the US-China Clean Tech Center in the United States to research and promote clean technologies and facilitate matchmaking between US and Chinese businesses in the energy efficiency sector.


TEDA Building, Tiajin, Shangdong. Photo credit: Julia Beabout


Delegation at TEDA1

Part of the delegation with hosts at TEDA. Photo credit: Julia Beabout


TEDA exhibit hall

TEDA clean technology exhibit hall


The morning began with Chair Weisenmiller (CEC) expressing  California’s commitment to work with China to create prosperous green economies in both countries.  Our delegates then presented their energy efficiency solutions.  The information was eagerly received by the local Chinese business and political attendees.

Ben Foster presenting

Ben Foster of Optony Inc, one of the trade mission participants. Photo credit: Julia Beabout


The day concluded with a round-robin style matchmaking session with local Chinese buyers, providers and research entities.  Our delegates now have many new leads to follow up on.

matchmaking TEDA

Matchmaking session at TEDA. Photo credit: Julia Beabout




Trade Mission – MONDAY, DEC 8, BEIJING

By Julia Beabout, PE

The first day of the mission was chock full of information, providing insights on opportunities in China and a chance to exchange experience and insights on improving energy efficiency.

We started the day at the beautiful new United States Embassy with a briefing by the US Departments of Energy and Commerce on China’s energy efficiency market.

US Embassy Beijing

Photo credit: US Dept. of State


Under the recent APEC agreement, the Chinese and US governments agreed to deepen their commitments to improving energy efficiency and reducing carbon emissions and also to continue their extensive collaboration in these areas. This will expand the already rapidly growing energy efficiency market in China and the demand for US products and services there.

Later our esteemed delegates met with government officials from China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC)—China’s central economic planning ministry and where energy efficiency policy making is made.

trade mission delegation 1

Photo credit: Julia Beabout


Chair Robert Weisenmiller of the California Energy Commission described how California has been able to grow its economy while keeping its per capita energy consumption flat. As a result, California is a US and world leader in energy efficiency.

trade mission weisenmiller 1

Photo credit: Julia Beabout


Demand response has and will continue to be key to achieving California’s energy efficiency. The trade mission delegates were given the opportunity to present their innovative demand response solutions to China’s largest power company, State Grid.

From the Chinese side, one featured project opportunity of the day was Green Dragon Lake (GDL), a new business district in the southwest corner of Beijing. The project has a net-zero goal, and the GDL developers plan to incorporate many innovative technologies from the US and abroad to reach this goal. On Sunday, the Project Developers, China Development Orient, treated us to a tour of the gorgeous property including their recently finished MGM Grand hotel. Additional information about the project can be obtained by clicking here.

During Monday’s lunch and dinnerthe delegates were given the opportunity to learn from US companies with successful operations in China such as Honeywell and EPS Capital.