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The United States and China are the world’s largest energy producers, energy consumers and greenhouse gas emitters.

What is CERC?

The priorities of the U.S.-China Clean Energy Research Center (CERC), a bilateral protocol signed by both countries in 2009 and recently extended to 2020, reflect important areas of opportunity and collaboration between both countries.

What is CERC - ACTC?

A typical power plant in the U.S.

The Advanced Coal Technology Consortium (ACTC) is one of five consortia supported by the CERC protocol. It was formed to demonstrate leadership in the area of advanced coal technology including carbon capture, utilization and storage in both China and the United States. The benefits for both nations include:

As the world’s top energy consumers and energy producers, the U.S. and People’s Republic of China (China) are playing central roles in the world’s transition to a clean energy economy now and in the years ahead. Reducing emissions, shifting to cleaner energy sources, and implementing advanced coal technologies are areas of common interest to both countries.


WVU and the US Consortium

handshake in front of a US flag and a China flag

West Virginia University, in Morgantown, manages the implementation of the U.S. side consortium. Huazhong University, in Wuhan, manages the implementation of the China side consortium. While each consortium is separately funded, there is frequent contact between U.S. and China researchers as both countries seek opportunities to improve technologies, and reduce the costs of decarbonizing fossil fuel emissions. West Virginia University hosts a weekly Webinar attended by the ACTC members during which researchers explain advances in their research activities, and take comments useful as this research is steered toward commercial use.

The U.S. consortium is fortunate to have attracted world-class private sector support, and world-class researchers to this mission. Three national laboratories (the National Energy Technology Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory), three research universities in addition to West Virginia University (University of Wyoming, University of Kentucky, Washington University, in St. Louis), as well as the World Resources Institute, General Electric (Alstom), Southern Company, Duke-Energy, Stock Equipment Company, Jupiter Oxygen, Gas Technologies Institute, Electric Power Research Institute, Peabody Energy, and Arch Coal are active participants, and together support approximately 100 U.S. researchers focused on this mission. There are a similar number of members and researchers in the China ACTC. Additional U.S. side parties have expressed interest in joining the ACTC and discussions with them are underway.


The U.S. Department of Energy was instrumental in supporting a unique Technology Management Plan now in effect between all CERC participants and which includes an agreed protocol for handling IP developed by the members. In this way, U.S. and China participants may choose to expose ideas and technology advancements in ways that both sides are able to leverage research toward positive outcomes in relatively short time periods and develop commercial interest in demonstrating these technologies at scale.