More than 20 members of the Northwest Energy Angels are joining the 2012 “Cleantech Business Mission to China” later this month. The sold-out trip was organized by the Trade Development Alliance of Greater Seattle with support from the Northwest Energy Angels, the Washington Clean Technology Alliance, and the Washington State China Relations Council. Michael Rawding, NWEA board member and experienced expert on Chinese business, originally conceived of the trip, and is playing a major role in using his extensive contacts in China to make the trip productive and interesting.
Special guests from public and private Northwest groups will travel through the Beijing, Shanghai and Tianjin provinces. Among the agenda’s highlights: Tours of wind and solar power factories, meetings with political and business delegates (including a few companies based in the Northwest and operating in China), and the opportunity to explore what clean technology looks like in the world’s fastest growing economy.
Of specific interest to the Angels is China’s intention to have wind, solar and biomass energy generate 8 percent of the nation’s electricity by 2020. (Renewable energy sources provided less than 4 percent of China’s electricity in 2009). How does a country of 1.3 billion people more than double its renewable energy in 10 years even as its population and energy needs continue to grow exponentially? To put this in perspective, China is adding an average of 1 gigawatt of electrical generation capacity from all sources to its grid every week (enough to power the entire city of Seattle).
While we have no shortage of information here in America about China’s endeavors and successes, the Angels going on this trip agree that there's tremendous value in “seeing it for themselves,” putting what we hear and read in context, and establishing relationships.
Stay tuned to the Northwest Energy Angels blog for updates and photos from Angel travelers both during and after the trip.