At the conclusion of his service as the U.S. Secretary of Energy, Steven Chu returned to Stanford University to continue his study of physics. Steven Chu came to Sichuan to take part in the 2017 US-China Green Energy Summit held on September 11th to 13th.
It took him 14 hours to fly from California to Chengdu. Though being nearly 70 years old, Steven Chu had tight schedule in Sichuan. He made a keynote speech titled "Climate Risks and Clean Energy Opportunities" at the summit on the morning of 11th, led a delegation to visit the Sichuan University on the afternoon, where he shared insights on carbon capture and utilization (CCU), and returned the summit venue and accepted a media interview on 8 O'clock on the evening.
Figure: Former U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu makes a keynote speech at the summit
When talking about the energy cooperation between
“At present, fossil energy is still the main source of energy consumption in the world. Compared with wind, solar and other clean energy, the cost of coal-based fossil energy is cheap," said Steven Chu, “but as time goes on, the cost advantage of coal will no longer be attractive."
However, Steven Chu admits that any form of energy use has some demerits. For example, nuclear power is affected by the NIMBY effect; wind power and solar energy is unstable and intermittent; hydropower involves relocation and environmental issues. "But the mankind needs energy, and it's a complex process of choice and balance."
Steven Chu believes that the next step is to consider how to further reduce costs, as renewable energy has made considerable progress around the world. "Most of the energy in the future would come from nuclear and non-fossil power, though it will be a slow process," said Steven Chu frankly.
The Paris agreement sets a quantitative goal for holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 °C. "Trump argues that climate change is a false proposition and has announced withdrawal from the agreement, but countries around the world have recognized the importance of addressing climate change," said Steven Chu frankly.
"Although the Trump administration announced withdrawal from the Paris agreement, the cooperation between
Steven Chu believes that leadership in response to climate change means greater benefits, and hopes
During the interview, Steven Chu expressed concerns about emissions from fossil fuel vehicles, and shared the latest progress in research of power batteries for new energy vehicles. "Stanford University is studying fluid batteries. In the future, electric vehicles can complete charging in a short time with fluid batteries, improving the efficiency while protecting the environment."
As explained by Steven Chu, the fluid batteries for new energy vehicles can provide the energy for driving 100 - 150 miles after charging of 5 minutes. He also noted that some technologies of energy storage battery, which looks promising in science, are still in the laboratory stage and needs policy support, and have a long way to go before commercialization.
"I'm looking forward to the development of clean energy in china," said Steven Chu, "