The US Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory has signed a first-ever memorandum of understanding with China’s State Grid Energy Research Institute.

The two organisations last week signed the memorandum of understanding (MoU), which lays out a general framework for cooperation, including research project coordination, energy systems integration, power market design, site visits, and personnel exchanges.

The State Grid Energy Research Institute (SGERI) is a subsidiary of China’s national utility, State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC), and will be playing an important role in China’s announced plans to strengthen its national grid.

“Clean energy isn’t solely a concern of the United States,” said Dr. Dan Arvizu, director of NREL. “It’s something that affects the entire planet, so it’s important to have researchers in China and other countries addressing the problems of supplying power from renewable energy.”

The agreement between the SGERI and Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) “is intended to speak discussions for creating more specific R&D collaborations in the future,” and there are hopes that in the future the MoU may grow into a partnership that could inform their country’s respective policymakers about energy and sustainable deployment.