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Global grid to be new growth engine

By JING SHUIYU | China Daily | Updated: 2017-05-09 07:54

Vision for future looks to radical interconnectivity of energy sources

Global energy interconnection is a vision to form a massive global electricity grid powered by renewable sources. It will serve as a new engine to cement the Belt and Road Initiative, as economies along the trading routes are rich in clean energy and complement each other, said an expert.

Wang Yimin, secretary-general of the Global Energy Interconnection Development and Cooperation Organization, said electricity interconnection is conducive to boosting regional economic and trade cooperation.

The non-governmental and non-profit international organization has been striving to boost big-ticket projects connecting the electricity networks of China, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Myanmar, Bangladesh and other countries, he told a news conference.

GEI is a globally interconnected smart grid with ultra-high voltage grids as its backbone.

It also serves as an infrastructure platform to develop, transmit and consume clean energy on a massive scale worldwide, according to Wang.

"In essence, GEI is a smart grid, plus a UHV grid and clean energy," he elaborated.

To facilitate such efforts, GEIDCO is going to sigh cooperation agreements or memorandums of cooperation with several international governments and international organizations to construct the standard system during the upcoming Belt and Road summit, added Wang.

In 2015, China proposed to establish the GEI to help meet global power demand with clean and green alternatives.

The initiative was proposed as severe energy challenges, such as resource scarcity, environmental pollution, and climate change, pose a great threat to the survival of humanity.

GEI, as a Chinese solution to address these challenges, should be incorporated into the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

The China-led organization is planning to put intercontinental grids in place in each continent by 2050, after setting up a countrywide super-grid by 2020.

Among the world's three most significant networks, the integration of energy infrastructure lags far behind information and transportation sectors, said Liu Zhenya, GEIDCO's chairman and former chairman of the Beijing-based State Grid Corp of China.

Liu wrote in a recent article, saying "information and transportation are already well on their way to being integrated, powered by advances in electrification and fiber optics, as well as data analytics, automation and the internet of things ... electricity generation and transmission remain trapped within localized 20th-century grids."

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