Yes, I think that because finding sources of renewable energy will in many ways determine the economic power structure in the future, both nations have an incentive to discover these sources and are likely to collaborate. This collaboration is possibly already under way. In 2009, China and the US signed a Renewable-Energy Partnership, “[embracing] a vision of wide-scale deployment of renewable energy including wind, solar and advanced bio-fuels, with a modern electric grid, and [agreeing] to work together to make that vision possible” (1). While in practice, collaboration may not be entirely as smooth as the agreement hoped, both countries have taken steps to find renewable energy. The US poured $25 million into renewable energy following the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and China has officially set a goal of funding 15% of its energy needs with renewable sources by 2020.
I think a real, geniune market response to renewable energies is even better than governmental collaboration. What we should be asking is: “Are the U.S. and China economies likely to compete in a vigorous, sustained way to become the leader in renewable energy.” On this front, while the U.S. clearly has a more innovative business and technological climate, China has the definite advantage in its sense of urgency, as its spending on renewable energy investments outpaces that of the U.S. So, while governmental collaboration is nice, I think it has the tendency to be more symbolic than anything.
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