The Europe-China Clean Energy Centre Project (EC2) is an implementing model of the cooperation between the European Union and China in the field of clean energy through the creation of a Demo Zone .
The Demo Zone is an urban area in a process of regeneration, in which European policy experience and technological solutions related to clean energy are introduced, based on tools and methodologies successfully adopted in European demonstration projects. Faced by the common challenges and in the search for shared growth opportunities, the EU 2020 growth strategy for a smart, sustainable and inclusive economy and the green and low-carbon transformation of the Chinese economy outlined in China's 12th Five Year Plan have laid a promising common ground for the emerging EU-China cooperation framework, supported by both shared political aspirations and concrete collaborative actions. In the ongoing and future policy-driven and action-oriented cooperation between Europe and China, energy security and sustainable urbanization are identified as two focal areas where both sides see common strategic interests as well as mutual benefits.
Given the challenges and opportunities inherent to the process of green and low-carbon transformation in China, and in particular in Western China, the clean energy Demo Zone that EC2 is developing in Urumqi, Xinjiang Region, represents a considerable potential for cooperation between Europe and China, at both the policy and the technology/business levels. The European urban demonstration projects have been chosen by EC2 as a reference background for innovative energy and environmental strategies in Chinese cities. A Demo Zone Toolkit has been developed, i.e.,a methodological set for public decision makers to govern and manage urban projects, which have been tested in Europe with adaptations for the Chinese context. The key to this process is tackling the complexity of the urban demonstration setting, using the right mix of innovative methods, which are well accepted by local stakeholders. Although the operation of the Demo Zone is still at an initial stage, the experience gained so far shows that this is a viable endeavour thanks to the strong support and commitment from both the Chinese and the European sides. This is facilitated by the role of EC2 as an effective and recognized platform for the dialogue between the Chinese and the European stakeholders, including public institutions, experts, research centres and the business community.