2019 Global Energy Interconnection (GEI) & China-Africa Energy and Power Conference Kicked off

Promote Clean and Low-carbon Development of the World Open up a New Chapter for China-Africa Energy Cooperation

On November 6, 2019 GEI & China-Africa Energy and Power Conference kicked off. More than 1000 guests from over 79 countries gathered in Beijing to discuss key issues regarding GEI and African Energy Interconnection under the themes of “GEI - A Path towards Green, Low-carbon and Sustainable Development” and “African Energy Interconnection - A New Growth Driver of Africa”, drawing a new blueprint for the world’s energy transition and sustainable development.

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This conference is an important one that GEI development has entered a new stage of implementation and joint action. This conference, the first of its kind in the field of energy and power sector for China and Africa, will build a platform for jointly discussing cooperation and pursuing development for GEI and African Energy Interconnection.

The conference was sponsored by Global Energy Interconnection Development and Cooperation Organization (GEIDCO) and co-sponsored by State Grid Corporation of China, China Three Gorges Corporation, Power Construction Corporation of China, China Electricity Council (CEC), Association of Power Utilities of Africa (APUA), United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UN ECA), African Development Bank (ADB), etc.

Chairman Liu Zhenya of GEIDCO attended the conference and delivered a keynote speech entitled “Accelerate Global Energy Interconnection and Jointly Open up a New Chapter of China-Africa Energy and Power Cooperation”.

“China’s proposal” benefits the world by leading the energy transition and clean development

This conference aimed to guide all parties to participate in the construction of energy and power infrastructure globally and in Africa and accelerate clean energy development and cross-border grid interconnection in an effort to press ahead with GEI development into the future.

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In his keynote speech, Liu Zhenya noted that GEI has become a champion of global energy transition and clean development. It offers new ideas and solutions to global sustainable development, and provides a broad platform for all parties concerned to participate in international energy cooperation. GEI plays an increasingly important role in the pursuit of sustainable development and a community of shared future for mankind.

The conference called on all parties concerned from three perspectives. First, we need to grasp the general trend of global energy transition with clean development as the essential pathway, and build GEI to create a modern energy system characterized by clean energy production, wide-area energy allocation and electrification of energy consumption. Second, we need to comprehensively strengthen innovation regarding strategic planning, project implementation, market operations, and technology and equipment to reinforce the foundation for GEI. Third, we need to pool all efforts for further advancement of GEI development through three phases, namely domestic interconnection, intra-continental interconnection and global interconnection.

“Globally, information network and transportation network have achieved global interconnection. As we secure more breakthroughs and advance the widespread application of key technologies, like UHV, smart grids and clean energy, we are set to embrace significant breakthroughs in energy network. Full-heartedly and devotedly, we will achieve GEI successfully for the benefit of the whole world and mankind!”Liu said. 

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On the morning of November 6, GEIDCO signed cooperation agreements with Central African Power Pool (CAPP), World Meteorological Organization, Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), International Green Technologies & Investment Projects Center, China General Technology Group respectively. They will strengthen practical cooperation in joint research, information exchange, project implementation, technical and business practices for joint promotion of the development and utilization of renewable energy and grid interconnection, thus advancing GEI development.

“GEI Technology and Equipment Exhibition” held at the same time attracted dozens of energy and power enterprises to participate in. With an exhibition area of 2,000 square meters at the China National Convention Center, this exhibition showcased the innovative achievements and technical practices of various enterprises in such fields as clean energy, UHV transmission and smart grid.

Africa’s development sees major opportunities with the building of trans-regional and intercontinental “expressways of electricity”

According to statistics, the conference was attended by more than 200 African guests from 30 African countries covering five African regions, namely East Africa, Central Africa, West Africa, North Africa and southern Africa. Participants included more than 10 ministerial officials from energy ministries from Guinea, Burkina Faso, the Republic of the Congo, Sierra Leone, Niger, Liberia, Egypt and Ghana, ambassadors of Algeria, Burundi and Senegal, high-level representatives of High Commissioner of Organization for the Development of the Gambia River (OMVG), APUA and five African Power Pool, senior executives of power enterprises in Tunisia, Mauritania, Mali, Côte d'Ivoire, Sudan, Central African Republic, Malawi, Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Madagascar and other African countries. Ministers, senior executives and heads of organizations accounted for more than 50%. This conference is the first of its kind with the largest scale and at the highest level in the field of energy and power sector for China and Africa.

From November 4 to 5, African guests visited the UHV converter station and the Three Gorges Dam in Shanghai and Yichang.

On the morning of November 7, GEIDCO will release three important research results, namely Study on Hydropower Development and Delivery in Congo River, Research on Africa Energy Interconnection, New Model of “Electricity, Mining, Metallurgy, Manufacturing and Trade” Co-Development for Africa, providing practical project research support and systematic solutions for Africa’s development and outward transmission of clean energy and grid interconnection.

On the afternoon of November 7, the conference will organize 5 thematic forums on African Energy Interconnection to discuss the topics of investment and financing, clean energy development, regional integration, co-development of electricity, mining, metallurgy, manufacturing and trade, power interconnection, employment and economic prosperity.

The conference pointed out that African Energy Interconnection, an important part of GEI, offers an essential solution to Africa’s sustainable energy development, and it is going to open up great opportunities for Africa to achieve economic prosperity and advance China-Africa cooperation.

According to the data, at present, per capita power consumption of Africa is approximately 18% of the world’s average level, and Africa’s average electricity price is as high as 14 US cents/KWh. Nearly 50% of its population lives without power access. In view of resource endowment, the proven reserve of fossil fuels in Africa is only 3.4% of the world’s total proven reserves; the technically available potential of hydro, solar and wind power totals 734,000 TWh per year, accounting for 39% of global total.

Liu Zhenya stressed that Africa must set the course for clean development to address its energy dilemma. The key is to develop African Energy Interconnection. Specifically, Africa should speed up the development of large hydro, wind and solar power bases and various distributed electricity sources and strengthen different countries’ domestic grid development, and cross-border and intercontinental grid interconnection, so as to forge “an expressway of electricity” across the continent.

“The key to developing African Energy Interconnection lies in capitalizing on the pioneering role of hydropower of the Congo River,” said Liu Zhenya. The installed capacity and the amount of annual power generation of the section from downstream Kinshasa to the estuary can reach up to 110GW and 700TWh respectively, equivalent to five and seven Three Gorges Dam in China respectively. The region should develop three cascade hydropower stations, namely Grand Inga, Pioka and Matadi. While meeting local power demand, the region should send hydropower to West Africa, North Africa, East Africa and southern Africa via 11-circuit UHV DC lines, so that all parts of African can benefit from clean electricity.

Over the years, GEIDCO has studies in-depth the resource endowment, power supply and demand, and social and economic conditions of Africa. As a result, it has released African Energy Interconnection Planning Research Report, and visited over 30 African countries for exchanges, receiving warm responses and generous support.

GEIDCO has put forward the implementation path of African Energy Interconnection - a new model of co-development of electricity, mining, metallurgy, manufacturing and trade. The model seeks to integrate Africa’s advantages of clean energy and mineral resources to forge an industrial chain featuring the coordinated development of electricity, mining, metallurgy, manufacturing and trade. It will then safeguard the development and production at mines, metallurgy bases and various industrial parks with sufficient and economically competitive clean electricity, promote export to shift from primary products to high value-added products and then give rise to a virtuous cycle of “investment - development - production - export - reinvestment”.

GEIDCO and the Government of Guinea signed a joint initiative to co-initiate the African Energy Interconnection and Sustainable Development Alliance (AEISDA). Seeking to develop a clean, industrialized, electrified and integrated Africa, the AEISDA is going to establish a cooperation platform for governments, enterprises and financial institutions to align their policies, integrate resources, raise funds and implement projects. Currently, more than 20 countries and over 80 internationally-renowned enterprises and institutions have applied to join the AEISDA.

GEIDCO is the first international organization initiated by China in the field of energy. Founded in March 2016, it currently has 756 members from 106 countries across five continents. GEIDCO has signed 42 cooperation agreements and memorandums with relevant governments, enterprises, institutions and universities, established four industrial alliances, namely GEI University Alliance, GEI Think Tank Alliance, GEI Finance Alliance and GEI Equipment Alliance, and released a serious of important innovative research results to the world. It has become an influential international organization in the energy and power sector, playing an important role in global energy governance and multilateral cooperation.