Global energy interconnection, a vision to form a massive worldwide electricity grid powered by renewable sources, will help speed up the energy transition towards a green and de-carbonized world, experts said on Tuesday.
"The GEI initiative will become the new engine of economic growth ... It will boost the development of clean energy and optimize the allocation of global energy," said Liu Zhenya, chairman of the Global Energy Interconnection Development and Cooperation Organization.
The next actionable steps are to "build a global partnership, set up an international fund, and assemble a research team of scholars and experts from around the world," said Wei Jianguo, vice-president of the China Center for International Economic Exchanges.
They spoke at the 2017 Global Energy Interconnection Forum. This year's conference, themed "Building Global Energy Interconnection for Green and Low-carbon Development," attracted nearly 500 officials, business leaders and research fellows from home and abroad.
During the forum, GEIDCO signed agreements with Egypt's Ministry of Electricity and Renewable Energy, Latin American Energy Organization and Regional Energy Integration Commission (CIER), a non-governmental international organization of the Latin American energy sector.
GEI is a globally interconnected smart grid with ultra-high voltage grids as its backbone across national boundaries. It serves as an infrastructure platform to develop, transmit and consume clean energy on a massive scale worldwide.
The initiative was proposed by China in 2015 to help meet global power demand with clean and green alternatives, as resource scarcity, environmental pollution and climate change gradually posed a great threat to humanity's survival.
Designing and building new overhead transmission lines are facing growing difficulties in some countries, as there are concerns that the right-of-way occupies valuable land, and might cause potential health hazards, said Corrado Clini, former minister of environment of Italy.
"But theoretical calculation and actual practice prove that UHV lines pose no threat to the environment and human health," he said, adding that system already in place is the showcase to demonstrate that health and environmental protection are compatible with global energy interconnection.
Mohamed Shaker Elmarkabi, the minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy of Egypt, said the country will further cooperate with GEIDCO to deploy new energy technologies and promote the application of a smart grid in Egypt as well as neighboring markets.