The 2016 International Conference on Global Energy Interconnection with the focus on “Global Energy Interconnection (GEI) – Meeting the global power demand with clean and green energy alternatives” was held in Beijing from March 30 to March 31. This conference was hosted jointly by State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC), Caring for Climate (C4C), International Energy Agency (IEA) and the Edison Electric Institute (EEI). The sponsors of the conference include China Electricity Council (CEC), China Society for Electrical Engineering (CSEE), China Machinery Industry Federation (CMIF), International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), and Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). More than 600 delegates from 300 international organizations including the United Nations, government departments, industry organizations, relevant enterprises, research institutes and other units from 26 countries in Asia, Europe, Africa, America and Oceania attended this high-end, pragmatic, and grand international conference. As the first international conference for promoting GEI around the world, this conference is a milestone for accelerating the development of GEI, creating a new momentum for the world’s clean and low-carbon energy development, and opening a new chapter for the sustainable development of mankind.
Chinese State Councilor Wang Yong from the State Council attended the opening ceremony of the conference and delivered an important speech. He, Wu Hongbo, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, and Liu Zhenya, Chairman of SGCC witnessed the official launch of the Global Energy Interconnection Development and Cooperation Organization (GEIDCO).
Wang Yong stressed that accelerating the transformation of energy development and utilization, promoting global energy transformation, and achieving the low-carbon and efficient development with clean energy has become an urgent task for all countries in the world. Focusing on the theme of GEI, participants communicated and shared with their views, built consensus and planned for the future together, which plays an important role in promoting the all-around development of GEI and driving the renovation of energy production and utilization.
Besides, Wang Yong added that remarkable achievements have been made by China through vigorously driving the energy production and consumption revolution and accelerating the construction of a clean and low-carbon energy supply system. China has become the country with the largest scale of power generation with clean energy in the world, and has provided a path for clean, efficient, safe and sustainable development which can address climate change and protect the Earth, the home of human beings.
Furthermore, Wang Yong pointed out that as the construction of GEI involving international politics, economics, technology, environmental protection and other aspects, all countries in the world and the parties concerned should make concerted efforts to strengthen the building of open and sharing society, accelerate technology researches, and promote the establishment of co-construction standards, to ensure the network security, and contribute their wisdom and strength to the solutions for human energy issue.
SGCC Chairman Liu Zhenya opened the conference with a welcome and a keynote speech – “Building Global Energy Interconnection to Step Forward to a New Era of Sustainable Future”. Liu Zhenya believes that the global energy development is faced with three main challenges: resource constraints, environmental pollution and climate change. And establishing a safe and clean security system with sustainable energy supply, i.e. building GEI, is the ultimate solution for the challenges. GEI, with its unique model – “Smart Grid + UHV Grid + Clean Energy” provides the only path to a green, low-carbon, economical, efficient, and an open energy system with sustainable supply. It can meet the global power demand in a clean and green way and is an inevitable path for the sustainable development of mankind, bearing great economic, social and environmental significance.
Liu Zhenya stressed in his speech that building GEI calls for intensive development of clean energy of all continents, and flexible and economic development of all types of distributed energy resources, in order to achieve a balanced energy mix, flexible & mutual complement and coordinated use of energy. The acceleration of inter-continent and inter-country grid interconnection will gain significant benefits from time zone difference, seasonal difference and electricity price difference, and will greatly enhance the security, economy and stability of clean energy, so as to achieve the globalization of energy production, allocation and trade. The smart grid to be constructed is “Internet of things” integrating the functions of power transmission, resource allocation, market trading, information exchange and smart services. It can automatically predict and identify various types of failures and risks, adapt to the requirements for large-scale access and wide-range configuration of all kinds of centralized and distributed clean energy, to meet the diverse and intelligent electricity demand of all users, and to build a powerful public service platform. There is a need to promote the electrification of energy consumption and vigorously accelerate the replacement of coal, oil, and gas with electric power in the fields such as industry, transportation, commerce and the living of residents, in order to improve the social integrated energy utilization efficiency and reduce social costs.
GEI, Liu Zhenya added, will profoundly change the pattern of the world’s energy development, enable each person to enjoy the cheap & clean energy and intelligence services, enjoy a more comfortable life, and enjoy a more livable environment in a more harmonious society with more prosperous economy, to create enormous benefits for human beings. Liu Zhenya argued that the construction of GEI should be a common goal for the world. For the common interest of mankind, he encouraged all countries to work together in the manner of mutual discussion, joint building, sharing, and win-win cooperation, to make new breakthroughs in innovation and development, actively promote major demonstration projects for GEI, and create a favorable environment for development. SGCC is willing to join in innovation and work together to jointly promote development of GEI for the benefit of people of the world and future generations, as well as to open a new chapter of sustainable human development.
All parties pay high attention to this conference. The participants of this conference include the delegates from the international organizations such as the United Nations, the International Energy Agency and the World Bank, the delegates from the government departments in the United States, Russia and other countries, the principals of relevant government departments of China such as the Policy Research Office of the CPC Central Committee, the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council (SASAC), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Science and Technology, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the Ministry of Environmental Protection and the National Energy Administration, and Academicians from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Chinese Academy of Engineering. The guests including: Wu Hongbo, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations; Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the International Energy Agency (IEA); Alemayehu Tegenu, Ethiopian Minister of Water, Irrigation and Energy; Dashdorj Zorigt, Minister for Mineral Resources and Energy of Mongolia; Mohammad Younus Dagha, Federal Secretary of Ministry of Power & Water (Pakistan); Jiang Bao, Brazilian ambassador to China; Masayoshi Son, Chairman & CEO of Japan’s SoftBank Group; Cho Hwan-eik, President of Korea Electric Power Corporation; Peter B. Littlewood, Director of Argonne National Laboratory (ANL); Lawrence E. Jones, Vice President of the Edison Electric Institute; Friedrich Prinz, professor of Stanford University; Frans Vreeswijk, the General Secretary of the International Electrotechnical Commission; Kramer, President of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Standards Association; Roman Berdnikov, First Deputy Director General of the Russia’s Energy Grid PJSC ROSSETI (“PJSC ROSSETI”); Vasconcelos, Portuguese Secretary of State of Industry for the Ministry of Economy; Kumar, Executive Director of Climate Parliament; Claudio Facchin, President of the Power Grids Division of ABB Group; Li Yining, Honorary Dean of Guanghua School of Management of Peking University; Liu Jizhen, President of North China Electric Power University & Academician of Chinese Academy of Engineering; Yang Kun, Executive Vice President of China Electricity Council; and Nan Cunhui, Chairman & CEO of CHINT Group. The aforesaid participants delivered wonderful speeches and presentations at the conference. All guest speakers spoke highly of GEI, believed that the conditions are ready for the construction of GEI, and encouraged closer collaboration among all relevant parties to make concerted efforts to promote the development of GEI.
Wu Hongbo, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, stated that building GEI is beneficial to improve the energy efficiency, accelerate the transformation of energy, push forward clean development, and cope with climate change. He highly confirmed and stressed the significance of building GEI, believing that the construction of GEI can contribute to the transformation of resource advantages of many developing countries and regions in Africa, Asia and Latin America into economic advantages which benefit all the people, provide adequate, reliable and sustainable energy supply, and effectively meet the global energy demand and make each person enjoy modern energy services equally, and will help achieve the target of “sustainable energy for all” ultimately, as well as make an important contribution to the peace and harmonious development of the world. Construction of GEI is an important measure adopted by China to fulfill its commitments to achieve the object of emission reduction, reflecting China’s strong sense of responsibilities as a large country, and the UN will actively unite relevant parties to jointly promote the innovation and development of GEI, he added.
Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the International Energy Agency, believes that the construction of large-scale power transmission infrastructure is very important to address the issue of future energy supply. In his argument, the power system should be redesigned and rebuilt to adapt to the sustainable and renewable energy such as solar and wind energy. Power is the future of energy, and the future of energy is power. SGCC and IEA will set up an expert working group to discuss the UHV technology, the future power grid interconnection, and the large-scale networking potential of clean energy, to establish a GEI network and jointly promote Global Energy Interconnection and Interworking, he added.
Professor Li Yining, a famous Chinese economist and Honorary Dean of Guanghua School of Management of Peking University, believers that GEI provides a practical, feasible and systemic solution for the development of low-carbon economy and realization of energy transformation. In his views, the construction of China’s energy interconnection will become an important approach to advance China’s supply-side structural reform, generate new momentum for development, and accelerate the development of the new economy, which benefits both the current development and the long-term development. Building GEI is in line with the concept of development “innovation, coordination, green, open and sharing”, and is a major innovation breakthrough in the energy development strategy, technology and practice of the 21st century. The conference will play a leading role in the spread of GEI concept across the world and the promotion of the clean energy development, as well as in the combat against climate change.
The conference launched several sub forums on 6 topics including Energy Strategy, Policy and Economic Development, UHV and Power System Interconnection, Energy Storage Technologies and Their Applications, New Energy and Renewables, Smart Grids Technologies and Their Applications, and Electrification and Electric Vehicle, and has received more than 300 articles. The delegates of the conference discussed the latest achievements of theory and practice of GEI, talked over about the plan for GEI development and have achieved fruitful results.
During the conference, the SGCC, Korea Electric Power Corporation, Japan’s SoftBank Group, and the PJSC ROSSETI signed and concluded a Memorandum of Understanding of Joint Promotion of An Interconnected Electric Power Grid Spanning Northeast Asia; in addition, the Report on Wind Power Resource Development Research in the Arctic Region and the Research Report on Global Energy Interconnection were published. In the meantime, the conference also issued a Declaration on Cooperation of Global Energy Interconnection Development, which proposes eight initiatives such as “defining the direction for development”, “building an organizational platform”, “strengthening the spread of the concept”, “carrying out planning and research”, “advancing technological innovation”, “strengthening communication and exchanges”, “promoting project cooperation”, and “jointly creating a better future”. It expresses the common aspiration of all delegates to devote themselves to the promotion of GEI innovation & development and the advance of the world’s energy transformation as well as the sustainable development of mankind.
The Global Energy Interconnection Development and Cooperation Organization (GEIDCO) launched exclusively by SGCC was the first international organization initiated for establishment by China in the energy field. For the purpose of “promoting the construction of Global Energy Interconnection to meet the global power demand with clean and green energy alternatives”, the organization strives to build a GEI development and cooperation platform allowing for mutual discussion, joint building, sharing, and win-win cooperation by focusing on the spread of concept, planning and research, technological innovation, communication and exchanges, and cooperation projects. Liu Zhenya, Chairman of SGCC serves as Chairman of the first session of GEIDCO, while Steven Chu, the Former Secretary of US Department of Energy, Shu Yinbiao, General Manager of SGCC, and Masayoshi Son, Chairman of Japan’s SoftBank Group serve as Vice-Chairmen. The first batch of members of the organization reached 80, including 2 individual members, 10 social organizations, 10 research institutes and universities, and 58 enterprises (of which, 22 enterprises are among the ranking of Fortune Global 500) from the five continents such as Asia, Europe, Africa, America and Oceania. The members are from extensive fields including energy, power, technology, environmental protection, finance and other fields, so they are representative. The establishment of GEIDCO marks a new stage of comprehensive development of GEI.