On the evening of April 25th, during the Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (BRF), the Global Energy Interconnection Development and Cooperation Organization (hereinafter referred to as GEIDCO) held a Showcase Event of GEIDCO Researches to align Global Energy Interconnection (GEI) with the Belt and Road Development. During the event, GEIDCO officially published the Research Report on the Belt and Road Energy Interconnection and the Development Report on Global Energy Interconnection for Promoting the Belt and Road andsigned six cooperation agreements with the UN agencies, governments, international organizations and universities to jointly promote energy interconnection and the Belt and Road Initiatives (BRI) development. The achievement report and agreements have been included in the outcome list of the BRF forum on infrastructure connectivity.
On September 26, 2015, President Xi Jinping proposed to establish global energy interconnection at the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit. During the first BRF on May 14, 2017, President Xi Jinping called for collective action “to develop global energy interconnection and achieve green and low-carbon development”, which presented a vital program for countries to build BRI together and drive energy transition.
Mr. Liu Zhenya pointed out in his opening address that GEI is an energy infrastructure platform for large-scale development, delivery and use of clean energy resources worldwide. In essence, GEI is “Smart Grid + UHV Grid + Clean Energy.” The efforts to build GEI, promote “Clean Replacement” and “Electricity Replacement”, improve the level of energy efficiency and electrification, and restore fossil fuels to its basic attribute as industrial raw materials will fundamentally solve major challenges such as resource shortage, environmental pollution, climate change, health and poverty, thus creating a peaceful, prosperous and happy future for mankind.
Energy interconnection among the BRI countries is an important part of the GEI. The overarching plan seeks to connect with the six land corridors and three “blue economic passages” (or sea routes) of the BRI to coordinate the development of clean energy, including hydropower, wind power and solar power of the BRI countries. While strengthening domestic grids of these countries, efforts will be made in building seven power corridors, such as the New Eurasian Continental Bridge. In this way, Five Horizontal and Six Vertical Afro-Eurasia Backbone Grids will be formed to provide safe, economical, clean and sustained power supply to these countries and push forward the coordinated and sustainable development of economy, society and the ecology of the BRI countries.
Based on in-depth investigations on the economy, society, resource endowment and power supply and demand of BRI participating countries, GEIDCO proposed the Development Plan for Belt and Road Energy Interconnection, bringing new opportunities for international energy cooperation and infrastructure connectivity and fostering a new engine and platform for accelerated development of BRI.
The Research Report on the Belt and Road Energy Interconnection takes the six economic corridors and three blue economic corridors along the “Belt and Road” into consideration, and puts forward the plan, guideline and underpinning conditions for seven major power corridors, which includes 67 key projects with a total length of 126000 kilometers and a transmission capacity of 410 GW. The report also illustrates the economic, social, environmental and political values brought about by establishing energy interconnection for BRI participating countries.
The Development Report on Global Energy Interconnection for Promoting the Belt and Road explains GEI’s significant role in achieving policy coordination, connectivity of infrastructure, unimpeded trade, financial integration and closer people-to-people ties. It pictures the seven key areas for GEI to implement BRI: infrastructure connectivity, economic and trade cooperation, capacity investment, financial cooperation, collaboration in eco-environment protection, maritime cooperation and cultural and social exchanges and cooperation as well as those in other domains. The report also proposed six major actions: expanding consensus, clean development, grid interconnection, electricity replacement, innovation-driven development and energy efficiency enhancement.
According to GEIDCO’s estimation, in 2050, the total investment in energy interconnection for BRI participating countries will total 27 trillion USD, namely 20 trillion in power source, and 7 trillion in grid infrastructure, with 200 million new jobs created. The clean energy will contribute over 80% of the total installed capacity in BRI participating countries. The annual electricity consumption per head in Asia and Africa will reach 7000 kWh and 1500 kWh respectively, ensuring access to sustainable and affordable energy supply and modern power services for all.
On the conference, GEIDCO signed six cooperation agreements with the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (UNESCWA), World Meteorological Organization (WMO), National Research University “Moscow Power Engineering Institute”(MPEI), Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Electricity of Ethiopia and GCC Interconnection Authority (GCCIA) on deepening cooperation in joint research, project promotion, information sharing and capacity building and jointly accelerating GEI establishment in BRI participating countries.
Based on the agreements, GEIDCO will conduct joint researches with organizations on energy transition and clean power, planning, development and utilization of clean energy including hydro and renewable energy assessment and forecasting, mitigation of and adaptation to climate change and eco-friendly living environment; promote the connectivity between countries in West Asia and with their neighboring countries; champion grid interconnection projects in the common interests of multiple parties and set up a joint working group to complete the pre-feasibility study on energy interconnection projects in the Ethiopian-Gulf area within one year.
More than 180 guests and representatives from government departments, embassies, organizations, enterprises, institutions and universities in more than 20 countries from Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas attended the event.
On the afternoon of April 25, Chairman Liu Zhenya of GEIDCO, attended the BRF and the sub-forum on infrastructure and delivered a speech. He said that GEIDCO was the first international organization in the energy domain initiated by China. Since its establishment more than three years ago, it has been actively serving BRI development, released the research results of Global Energy Interconnection Backbone Grid Research, Africa Energy Interconnection Planning Research Report, Energy Interconnection in ASEAN for Sustainable and Resilient Societies-Accelerating the Energy Transition and Northeast Asia Energy Interconnection Planning Research Report.
Based on regional conditions in Africa, Southeast Asia and Central and South America, GEIDCO innovatively proposed the model of co-development of “electricity, mining, metallurgy, manufacturing and trade”. GEIDCO has actively worked on grid interconnections of China-ROK-Japan, China-Myanmar-Bangladesh and the Gulf Region with East Africa and South Asia, as well as projects such as hydropower development and transmission in the lower reaches of the Congo River, so as to boost energy transition and electricity interconnection of countries along the “Belt and Road” routes. By now, GEIDCO has 635 members from 93 countries and regions across the five continents.