Global Energy Interconnection Backbone Grid Roadmap Released for the First Time

2018 Global Energy Interconnection (GEI) Conference is held on 28-29 in March. The conference attracts over 800 guests from more than 30 countries and regions together in Beijing to discuss the development of GEI on the theme of “GEI from China’s Initiative to Global Action”.

2018 GEI Conference is a grand international gathering held at a new development stage of GEI. It bears great significance to implementing China’s GEI Initiative and the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, advancing world energy reform, promoting green and low-carbon development and building a better future for mankind. Mr. Liu Zhenya, Chairman of Global Energy Interconnection Development and Cooperation Organization (GEIDCO), Chairman of China Electricity Council, Member of Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences, delivered a keynote speech at the conference.

The conference consists of Plenary Sessions and Parallel Sessions, with a focus on Clean Development, Energy Interconnection, International Cooperation and Innovative Practices. Meanwhile,12 major innovative technical breakthroughs and  research reports, including GEI Backbone Grid Research,are  released. The guests exchange ideas and share experiences, all of which will be of great significance to GEI.


António Guterres,Secretary General of the United Nations ,expressed in the congratulatory video that the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Paris Agreement on climate change depend on a transformative approach to energy. The Global Energy Interconnection Initiative provides a key to solutions that can efficiently use rich and renewable resources, to deliver more than energy services to all even at long distances.

The conference has won high attention and substantial support from all parties. Mr.Li Pumin, Secretary General of National Development and Reform Commission of PRC, Mr. Zhu Juwang, Director of UNDESA’s Division for Sustainable Development, attended and addressed the conference. More than 80 guests from different backgrounds including politics, business, industry, universities and research institutes attended the conference and delivered speeches. These guests came from international organizations such as the United Nations, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), International Council on Large Electric Systems (GIGRE) and International Energy Agency (IEA), government departments of countries including Argentina, Ethiopia, Tunisia and Greece, energy companies like State Grid Corporation of China, China Southern Power Grid Co., Ltd.,China Three Gorges Corporation,Redes Energéticas Nacionais (REN), Egyptian Electricity Holding Company (EEHC) and Eletrobras, and universities and research institutes such as Royal Academy of Engineering of UK, Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences,National Academy of Science and Engineering of Germany (ACATECH), Columbia University and Waseda University.


Mr. Liu Zhenya’s keynote speech was entitled “Global Energy Interconnection Reshapes the World”, in which he noted that building GEI is a road towards transformation, green development, prosperity, harmony and happiness. It will change the way of energy development and utilization, provide an ultimate solution to climate change and drive technological innovation and industrial development in areas like new energy, new materials, artificial intelligence, big data, and electric vehicles, so as to shape a new pattern of energy security featured with cooperation, mutual benefits and win-win results. In addition, it will also solve the problem of inaccessibility to electricity around the globe, facilitate the building of a community of shared future for humankind and push the world towards a better future.

Mr. Liu Zhenya pointed out that GEI development is concerned with energy, economy, society, environment and other fields of all countries in the world, so it needs to enhance top-level design, formulate global planning, and be implemented in stages under the guidance of the planning. GEIDCO has conducted in-depth studies on the economic and social development, energy resources, electricity supply and demand of over 100 countries and proposed the plan for GEI Backbone Grid. With the GEI backbone grid being the priority, the acceleration of GEI development and building of a modern energy system dominated by clean energy, centered with electricity and featured with interconnection, co-building and sharing will bring tremendous value and comprehensive benefits to the whole world. The construction of the GEI Backbone Grid will be carried out in three stages, leading to the establishment of an “energy artery” that connects five continents with “nine horizontal and nine vertical” grids.

Mr. Liu Zhenya remarked that on the whole, the top-level design for GEI has been completed and the blueprint for GEI development has finished drawing up. Breakthroughs have been made in technologies and equipment, and the conditions for accelerating GEI development have been created. He proposed that consensus between governments, companies and all sectors of society should be built to synergize GEI with the Paris Agreement, the “Belt and Road” Initiative and regional development strategies, and promote China-Myanmar-Bangladesh, China-Korea-Japan, Congo Inga Hydropower Station-Europe and other clean energy development and grid interconnection projects. He said that efforts should be made to speed up breakthroughs in key technologies and equipment such as UHV large-capacity submarine cables, UHV VSC-HVDC and high-efficient clean power generation technologies. All parties should coordinate policies, foster global market, and innovate business models to accelerate the implementation of GEI for mutual benefits and win-win results.

On the afternoon of 28 March, 9 organizations and companies including GEIDCO, State Grid Corporation of China, ABB Group, China XD Group Corporation, NARI Group Corporation, Prysmian Group, Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd., China Three Gorges Corporation, and Vestas Wind Systems A/S released 12 key research reports. In general, the reports cover GEI-related areas such as UHV, smart grid and clean energy, focusing on cutting-edge technologies at the world-leading level. The reports include both technology planning and product items that are of high strategic and practical value.

The four research reports released by GEIDCO are GEI Backbone Grid Research, GEI Development Index 2018 , GEI Technology and Equipment Innovation Outline 2018-2025 and GEI Standard System Research 2018.

On the morning of 29 March, the GEI Clean Development Session and the GEI Innovative Development Session of the conference were held. During the GEI Clean Development Session, participants exchanged views and discussed topics like “the significance and role of clean energy development in addressing climate change”, “experience and practice in regional cooperation on advancing clean energy transition” and “problems and challenges as well as practical benefits in promoting clean development”. In the GEI Innovative Development Session, participants shared ideas and methods on topics like “key cutting-edge technologies”, “policy and financial security mechanisms” and “industrialization development measures” that support the development of GEI.

A number of international organizations,government departments sent congratulatory letters and videos to the 2018 conference.

Shamshad Akhtar, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Secretary of the UN ESCAP, said in the congratulatory letter that Global Energy Interconnection has emerged as a grand vision. GEIDCO, through in-depth research, consultation and partnership development at the regional and global scale, has the potential to move forward collectively with stakeholders to develop an effective mechanism and agreed action plans for reaping the wider benefits of this vision.

Kwesi Quartey,Deputy Chairperson of the African Union Commission, said in the congratulatory letter that the initiative of GEI is of great significance to regional power grid connectivity and energy optimization, and it has taken the global joint effort to combat climate change and promote green development to the next level.

Ambassador Kamal Hassan Ali, Assistant Secretary General of the League of Arab States, said in the congratulatory letter that the Arab League participates in all important events organized by GEIDCO to ensure the continuation of our joint efforts in promoting the development of sustainable energy and to facilitate from our side any hurdles facing trans boundary power connections.

Fatih Birol,Executive Director of the International Energy Agency,said in the congratulatory video that China pushed a lot of new initiatives to help the governments across the world and to push the agenda of decarbonization.One of these initiatives is of course the Global Energy Interconnection.It is why we believe at IEA that the work of GEIDCO is so important, promoting global cooperation, research and strategic planning.

Steve Chu,Vice Chairman of GEIDCO,Nobel Prize Winner in Physics,said in the congratulatory video that a grid containing ultra-high voltage, ultra-long-distance transmission lines can connect vast remote renewable energy sources with dense population centers around the world. Let us forge ahead and together create a new future for the world, one where there is a clean abundant energy for everyone, one where our environment is preserved and one where we can all breathe clean air.

Yanovsky Anatoly, Deputy Minister of Energy of Russia, said in the congratulatory letter that GEIDCO can further promote the sustainable development of the world's energy. This, I firmly believe, is of great significance not only for expanding bilateral cooperation but also for promoting energy stability in the entire region.

Department of Climate Change, National Development and Reform Commission, PRC, said in the congratulatory letter that the work of GEIDCO has exemplified China’s good practice  and beneficial results in coping with climate change and promoting low carbon development. It also offers precious reference for future endeavors to further advance international cooperation between China and other countries on climate change issues.

The GEI Theme Exhibition was held during the conference. More than 30 global organizations, including GEIDCO, demonstrated their achievements in advancing UHV, smart grid and clean energy development in the exhibition area.

Since its establishment two years ago, GEIDCO has been actively building a platform for win-win cooperation in order to align efforts across different countries via negotiation and sharing. A lot of ground-breaking work has been carried out. By now, GEIDCO has 402 members across 61 different countries and regions. The Advisory (Consultant) Board and the Technical (Academic) Committee are now in place. In addition, GEIDCO launched the Member Journal of GEIDCO in both Chinese and Global editions. Friendly collaborative relations have been established with 150 government departments, international organizations, businesses, universities and research institutes from over 50 countries, with the result of signing 20 cooperation agreements. GEIDCO’s findings from 100 subject studies regarding GEI strategy, planning and key technologies have laid a solid foundation for an accelerated development of GEI.