On October 16, the Northeast and Southeast Asia Energy Interconnection Development Forum was successfully held. More than 450 senior representatives from 20 countries in Northeast and Southeast Asia and other regions gathered in Beijing to discuss the far-reaching issues of regional sustainable energy development and promote global energy interconnection (GEI) in Asia, in a bid to jointly build a regional energy interconnection demonstration zone. At the forum, the Northeast Asia Energy Interconnection Planning Research Report and Energy Interconnection in ASEAN for Sustainable and Resilient Societies-- Accelerating the Energy Transition were launched to the world, providing comprehensive solutions to clean energy development and grid interconnection in Northeast and Southeast Asia.
Mr. Liu Zhenya, Chairman of GEIDCO, Chairman of China Electricity Council, Foreign Member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences, International Fellow of the UK Royal Academy of Engineering attended the forum and delivered a keynote speech. The forum was also attended and addressed by H.E. Tudevkhuu Gantulga, Vice Minister of Energy of Mongolia, Liu Hongpeng, Director of the Energy Department of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific(UNESCAP), Li Ye, Executive Director General for Regulation of National Energy Administration. Congratulatory videos or letters were sent to the forum by ASEAN, African Union, Arab League, Latin American Energy Organization(OLADE), International Energy Charter, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers(IEEE), Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering, Russian Academy of Sciences.
Liu Zhenya said that Northeast and Southeast Asia are the most vigorous regions in the world in terms of economic growth. However, energy development in these regions has been facing four challenges represented by Rapidly Increasing Energy Demands, Serious Challenge in Energy Supply, Extremely High Proportion of Fossil Energy Use, Insufficient Cross-border Power Transmission Capacity. The dependence of China, Japan and South Korea on importing oil is over 80%. There are 65 million people with no access to electricity in Southeast Asia, and 250 million people still use fuelwood and charcoal for cooking. Accelerating energy interconnection in Northeast and Southeast Asia will effectively guarantee the power supply of countries in the region, accelerate clean transition, promote economic growth, promote regional integrated development, and thus bring huge comprehensive benefits.
“The establishment of energy interconnection in Northeast and Southeast Asia costs USD 2.7 and 2.1 trillion respectively. Such projects will effectively drive the development of energy and power infrastructure and upstream and downstream industries, creating more than 30 million jobs,” said Liu Zhenya.
As pointed out by Mr. Liu Zhenya, the overall planning of establishing the Northeast Asia Energy Interconnection is to speed up regional clean energy development, build cross-border interconnection channels featuring“three rings channels and one west-east channel”, namely the circum-Bohai Sea/ the North Yellow Sea, circum-Japan Sea, circum-Amur River/ Heilong River Basin, and the west-east channel connecting the South part of Mongolia to the North China, thus forming a pattern of “west-to-east and north-to-south power transmission,and multiple energy resources complementation”.For Southeast Asia Energy Interconnection, the overall planning is to strengthen the interconnection of power grids of various countries and the connection with neighboring countries, make overall use of the two resources and two markets inside and outside the region, and form a new pattern of energy development in which the region is closely interconnected, and the energy resources in the region are diversified and complementary among different seasons and areas.
Northeast Asia Energy Interconnection Planning Research Report was compiled by GEIDCO. The report proposes that Northeast Asia has rich clean energy resources, mainly in Russia’s Far East, Mongolia, and Northern and Northeastern China. However, power consumption centers are mainly in Japan, South Korea and Northern China. Only through inter-regional and cross-border large-scale power allocation can the demands of energy production and consumption be met. It is estimated that around 2030, the proportion of the installed capacity of clean energy in Northeast Asia will exceed that of fossil energy and become the main power source in the region. In 2050, clean energy power generation in Northeast Asia will reach 42 terra watt(TW) hour, equivalent to reducing emissions of fine particulate matter, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides by about 260,000 tons, 1.23 million tons and 1.38 million tons per year, respectively.
In constructing the Northeast Asia Energy Interconnection, the focus is on the development of hydropower in Russia’s Far East, wind power in Okhotsk Sea, Sakhalin Island, Northern and Northeastern China, as well as solar energy in Mongolia among other large-scale clean energy bases. The total technology-enabled development capacity is about 990 GW. It is recommended to construct Mongolia-Tianjin, Liaoning-Pyongyang-Seoul, Weihai-Incheon and Takashiro-Songjiang, Sakhalin-Hokkaido, Yunfeng Peaks Back-to-Back and other DC transmission projects, so as to achieve cross-border transmission and mutual complementation among different clean energy resources.
Report on Energy Interconnection in ASEAN for Sustainable and Resilient Societies-- Accelerating the Energy Transition was jointly released by GEIDCO, ESCAP and ASEAN Energy Center. The report suggests that Southeast Asia needs to accelerate energy transition to achieve clean development. Take Kalimantan Island as an example. Since the island has abundant resources such as bauxite and hydropower, it can build an outward power transmission channel based on the development path of “intensification of industry, clean energy development and diversified energy exports”. In such a way, coordinated development of “electricity-mining-metallurgy” industries will be realized to meet the needs of sustainable and healthy economic and social development. After 2030, the new electricity demand in Southeast Asia can be fully covered by clean energy, ensuring power access to all in the region.
The key to building the Southeast Asia Energy Interconnection is to focus on accelerating the construction of the “Three Clean Energy Bases and Seven Channels”. Specifically, the three clean energy bases, namely the development of hydropower in the northern part and wind and solar power in western part of the Indo-China Peninsula; the construction of four intra-regional cross-sea grid network, connecting the Indo-China Peninsula with Sumatra, and Kaliman with the Indo-China Peninsula, Java Island and the Philippines; as well as the construction of three interregional interconnection channels connecting China to the north, Bangladesh and India to the west, and to Australia the south .
This forum convened senior representatives from government departments, energy companies, research institutions and financial institutions from China, Russia, South Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Kazakhstan, Italy, etc for in-depth exchange on the themes of clean development and energy interconnection, and energy innovation and open cooperation. Leveraging their respective fields, the senior representatives shared their thinking and views of building energy interconnection in Northeast and Southeast Asia, and discussed the bright future of the GEI.
The forum called on the governments, organizations, institutions, enterprises and universities in the region to play a leading role in joint planning and research, to achieve breakthroughs in technological fields such as large-capacity submarine cables, to promote the construction of a number of clean energy and cross-border interconnection projects with high economical efficiency and good demonstration effect, so as to bring project implementation as soon as possible.
Currently, relevant national governments have voiced their support for strengthening regional energy cooperation and interconnection. According to Russia Today, Russian President Vladimir Putin has made it clear that the implementation of the Northeast Asian Super Energy Circle Grid Project is very realistic. At the Fourth Eastern Economic Forum held in September this year, Mongolian President Battulga called on in his speech, “To jointly launch the Northeast Asia Super Energy Ring to provide electricity to the countries in the region.”
Cross-border interconnection projects are also being pushed forward in Northeast and Southeast Asia. In December last year, GEIDCO signed China-South Korea Interconnection Project Cooperation Agreement with China State Grid and Korea Electric Power Corporation. The three parties agreed to promote China-Korea interconnection in the first phase of the Mongolia-China-South Korea-Japan project, carry out further research, and coordinate to promote the project. In March this year, the Ministerial Meeting for China-Myanmar-Bangladesh Power Interconnection was held in Naypyitaw, Myanmar. The three countries jointly decided to set up a joint working group to carry out the feasibility study of the China-Myanmar-Bangladesh power interconnection project.
On September 26, 2015, Chinese President Xi Jinping proposed the “China Initiative” to build the GEI at the United Nations Development Summit, which received high praise and positive response from the international community. In the past three years, GEIDCO has pooled efforts from various parties to promote the concept, planning and research, international cooperation and project implementation of GEI, and push the “China Initiative” to become a global consensus and common action. Following the first international release of the “Nine Horizontal and Nine Vertical Lines” of GEI backbone network in March this year, GEIDCO released the first African Energy Interconnection planning during the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation Beijing Summit in September, which provided a road map for constructing GEI.