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Linking Renewable Energy Resources Around the World

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When do you expect the grid to be discussed seriously by world leaders?

Key Words

grid, world leaders, energy ministers, Africa, North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Australia, continents, regions


It already is being discussed seriously by energy ministers on 5 continents (Africa, North America, South America, Europe, Asia).

In the early 1990s, there were 50 nations that traded electricity across borders. Today there are 100 nations with bilateral interconnections. Extensive grids exist today in North America, Europe, Scandinavia, the former Soviet Union and Australia.

This is exceptional growth, when you consider the requirements of international links: cooperative engineering, international finance, treaties signed, and then construction.

Many projects which have been planned for a decade are now progressing: the Central American link (SIEPAC), the Gulf States Cooperation Council (Middle East), the ASEAN network of southeast Asia, and the South African Development Council (SADC).

Today, all the ministers of Central and South America are committed to regional integration. The African continent has advocates for a pan-African grid in the organizations of SADC, ECOWAS and Eskom. The APEC and ASEAN trade groups have similar commitments to interconnect their electric grids. The Chinese government is planning a national grid with links begining with its southern neighbors.

The electric grids of 100 other nations remain isolated. These developing grid systems often terminate at political borders due to lack of trust. The regions that remain isolated are usually due to civil strife, lack of good governance, finance and legal structures. Investment capital likes energy projects, however the capital required for these projects does not like risk, often deferring needed infrastruture in unstable nations.

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