GEIDCO Chairman Liu Zhenya speaks at thematic panels of the 5th Eastern Economic Forum

Building Northeast Asia Energy Interconnection, Driving Energy Transition and Sustainable Development

Between September 4 and 5, Liu Zhenya, chairman of Global Energy Interconnection Development and Cooperation Organization (GEIDCO), attended the 5th Eastern Economic Forum held in Vladivostok, Russia, and delivered speeches at two thematic panels, namely, Russia and the EAEU in the Asia Pacific: Key Integration Factors and Prospects for Strengthening Business, and A Leap Forward in Energy: Efficiency, Innovation, Environmental Sustainability. He remarked that Global Energy Interconnection will realize transnational and transcontinental grid interconnections, forge a brand new energy system and bolster the sustainable development of humankind, and calling on the development of northeast Asia energy interconnection to further boost regional energy interconnection and integrated development.

On September 26, 2015, Chinese President Xi Jinping proposed a major initiative on establishing Global Energy Interconnection (GEI) at the UN Sustainable Development Summit, offering a Chinese solution to the world energy transition and sustainable development. The proposal has won high praise and extensive response from the international community. March 2016 saw the founding of Global Energy Interconnection Development and Cooperation Organization (GEIDCO), the first international energy organization initiated by China which aims to comprehensively promote GEI and serve the sustainable development of humankind.

According to Liu Zhenya, GEI is a modern energy system to facilitate clean energy production, wide area allocation and electricity-based energy consumption. Essentially, GEI is a combination of “smart grid + UHV grid + clean energy”. The development of GEI will push ahead with the innovations in the concept, technology, industrial chain of energy and power sector to comprehensively enhance the efficiency and benefit of energy systems. In energy production, GEI can comprehensively take advantage of differences in resources, time zones and seasons among countries and regions to realize multi-energy complementation and high efficient utilization of clean energy such as hydro, wind and solar power. In energy allocation, GEI can give play to the advantages of UHV transmission of long-distance, large-capacity and low line loss transmission and realize high-efficient allocation of energy. In energy consumption, GEI will facilitate the electric power-centered energy consumption and improve the final energy consumption efficiency.

“As an important part of GEI, the energy interconnection in northeast Asia is of great significance to the sustainable development in the region,” Liu added.

The Russian Far East, Mongolia, Northeast China and North China are rich in clean energy resources, Liu continued. China, Japan and the ROK have huge energy demand. Fully leveraging the complementary advantages of resources and markets will promote large-scale development and allocation of clean energy over a wide area in Russia and Mongolia, and provide clean electricity supply to China, Japan, the ROK and the DPRK to achieve a win-win cooperation among the countries in this region.

GEIDCO proposed that the guiding principle of northeast Asia energy interconnection is to accelerate the development of large clean energy bases, such as hydropower and wind power bases in the Russian Far East, solar power and wind power bases in Mongolia and wind power bases in northeast China and north China. A cross-border interconnection network of “Three Rings and One Horizontal Backbone Grids” will be established, namely Bohai-Sea/North Yellow Sea Ring, Japan Sea Ring, the Amur River/Heilongjiang River Ring, and the one horizontal line connecting south Mongolia to north China. This will shape a pattern of “power transmission from West to East and from North to South, with mutual support among various energy sources” for a balanced energy mix. By 2050, 2.7 trillion US dollars will be invested to construct the energy interconnection network in northeast Asia, which will create more than 24 million jobs and achieve an annual cross-border power trade volume of 550 TWh.

In recent years, the energy interconnection in northeast Asia has made stage progress. A MoU for Northeast Asia Power Interconnection has been signed in March 2016, with Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO), SoftBank Group Corp, PJSC Rosseti and State Grid Corporation of China, with steady progress being made. At present, the China-ROK power interconnection project has seen its pre-feasibility study finished. In October 2018, GEIDCO released the research report on Energy Interconnection Planning for Northeast Asia in Beijing, drawing a roadmap for building Northeast Asia Energy Interconnection and expanding regional infrastructural construction and cooperation in energy and other sectors.

In April 2019, Mongolian President Khaltmaa Battulga visited GEIDCO’s headquarters in Beijing. He said that Mongolia supports the grid interconnection in northeast Asia, and is actively cooperating with relevant international organizations and banks to jointly advance the planning and development of key projects, and achieve cross-border grid interconnection at an early date.

The 5th Eastern Economic Forum is held from September 4 to 6, 2019 in Vladivostok, Russia, centering on four themes of “New Solutions for Accelerating Economic Growth”, “Creating Business Conditions”, “Far East and Asia Pacific: Developing Cooperation Potential” and “New Plans for Improving Quality of Life”. Russian President Vladimir V. Putin and national leaders of many other countries attended the forum.