Water and energy are vital to human survival and economic development.
At the UNESCO International Water Conference co-held by the Global Energy Interconnection Development and Cooperation Organization (GEIDCO) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in Paris from May 13 to 14, GEIDCO rolled out two innovative research outcomes to facilitating the efficient development and utilization of African hydropower resources and promoting the energy and power interconnection among Asia, Europe and Africa.
At the conference, GEIDCO innovatively proposed a new model for the co-development of electricity, mining, metallurgy, manufacturing and trade, with the aim of transforming Africa’s resource advantages into economic strength and building pillar industries and new engines for Africa’s economic growth.
Building GEI for coordinated and sustainable energy and water resources development
In his remarks at the Opening Ceremony of the UNESCO International Water Conference, GEIDCO Chairman Liu Zhenya said that building GEI would transform the energy development pattern and accelerate clean and low-carbon development. GEI has provided not only a fundamental solution to the energy issue, but also a new path to cope with the major challenges facing water resources development and utilization worldwide, including the low exploitation rate of hydropower, shortage of fresh water supply and severe water pollution.
Liu noted that with the advanced UHV technology, GEI would build the “electricity expressway” connecting the global clean energy bases and power consumption areas, which would promote the large-scale development and wide-area allocation of hydropower.
In this context, by 2050, the utilization rate of global hydropower will reach 65%. With GEI as the platform, clean energy will account for more than 80% of electricity generation by 2050, equivalent to replacing about 18.6 billion tons of standard coal of fossil fuels annually, which will not only save 110 billion cubic meters of water for power generation every year, but also provide sufficient electricity for large-scale seawater desalination, irrigation and sewage treatment.
“The development of only 200 square meters of solar energy in China’s Taklamakan Desert can meet the country’s current annual electricity demand for sewage treatment.”Liu said.
Liu also stressed, building GEI would accelerate the large-scale development of clean energy such as hydro, solar and wind energy, and provide sufficient electricity with economic competitiveness for the development and utilization of water resources and pollution control, thus creating a virtuous circle of “hydropower development – power supply – regeneration and protection of water resources” and achieving coordinated and sustainable development of energy and water resources.
Initiating a model for the co-development of electricity, mining, metallurgy, manufacturing and trade to provide a comprehensive solution to clean energy development and interconnection
At the Opening Ceremony on May 13, GEIDCO released a research report titled Developing Africa Energy Interconnection to Promote Hydropower Resources Development and Achieve the Co-development of Electricity, Mining, Metallurgy, Manufacturing and Trade.
Based on the analysis on and forecast for energy and power development, clean energy development and utilization conditions, and power grid interconnection in Africa, the report has proposed to build Africa Energy Interconnection featuring close links within the continent, efficient interconnection with the neighbouring regions, and the mutual supply and complementation of multiple energy sources.
It is planned to build four major hydropower bases, 21 solar power bases and 12 wind power bases, nine inter-continental and 12 inter-regional DC projects as well as five AC transmission corridor projects by 2050, aiming to provide safe, clean, economic and efficient energy supply for Africa's economic and social development.
The report has innovatively put forward the co-development of electricity-mining-metallurgy-manufacturing-trade.That means coordinating the planning and construction of clean energy bases such as hydropower, mining and metallurgy bases and industrial parks to build a power market integrating power generation, transmission and utilization together and to form an integrated development pattern covering mining, smelting and deep processing. These efforts aim to effectively solve the problems of power shortage in industrial development and limited market in power development.
The co-development of electricity, mining, metallurgy, manufacturing and trade will promote the construction of large clean energy bases, and transnational and trans-regional UHV/EHV transmission passages as well as local grids.
Under the development pattern, the export of ore products will be shifted into the export of high added-value products. Metallurgy industry will be harnessed as the leading force to build entire industry chain. Relying on the construction of industrial parks, production factors and industrial sectors will be clustered. Meanwhile, efforts will be made to expand the scale of regional and international trade, improve the export earning capacity, and realize co-development of electricity, mining, metallurgy, processing manufacturing and trade.
Developing Europe Energy Interconnection and ensuring high proportion of clean energy supply to meet the demand of economic development and thus promote people-to-people ties
At the High-level Panel of the UNESCO International Water Conference on May 14, GEIDCO released the Europe Energy Interconnection Planning Research Report.
Based on Europe's economic and social environment development, while taking into account abundant clean energy resources and technology development trends, the report systematically analyzed the energy demand, power supply and demand as well as power flow in Europe.
The goal of the report is to build an energy system dominated by clean energy and centering onelectricity and further strengthen interconnection. Hence it proposed the planning scheme for Europe Energy Interconnection and 11 key interconnection projects from Africa to Europe and Asia to Europe, and also evaluated the comprehensive benefits of Europe Energy Interconnection.
It is estimated that by 2050, in Europe, clean energy will account for 75% of energy mix, electricity for 59% of terminal energy consumption,and clean energy for 91% of power generation. It can reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 5.9 billion tons every year and effectively deal with climate change. Europe Energy Interconnection has invested about USD 5 trillion and created 27 million jobs.
During the conference, GEIDCO hosted a parallel forum—Sustainable Water and Energy. At the forum, a number of authoritative experts were invited to conduct exchanges and discussions on key technologies for sustainable development of water resources and energy, opportunities and challenges. Works from the forum were edited and published.
GEIDCO, founded in March 2016, currently has 635 members, covering 93 countries and regions. It has issued many important research findings, including Global Energy Interconnection Backbone Grid Research, Global Energy Interconnection Development Index, Global Energy Interconnection Standard System Research, and Global Energy Interconnection Technology & Equipment Innovation Outline. It has also synergized with major UN initiatives and launched action plans at UN conferences, including Global Energy Interconnection Action Plan to Promote the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Global Energy Interconnection Action Plan for Promoting the Implementation of the Paris Agreement, and GEI Action Plan for Promoting Global Environmental Protection, providing important plans and action roadmaps for GEI construction and sustainable development of various countries.