GENI believes that you deserve clearly written, well-organized, complete and actionable answers to your questions. But writing these is harder than it looks. People are always coming up with questions we haven't anticipated or thought we'd answered. Send your question to: info @ geni.org
"Good questions outrank easy answers."
(Economics Nobel Laureate Paul Samuelson)
Index of Frequntly Asked Questions (FAQ)
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Send your question to: firstname.lastname@example.org
- What is GENI? What is the GENI Initiative?
- Why do I need to be concerned about global energy problems?
- Why is GENI doing this work? What are the reasons that make this important for GENI?
- What is GENI going to do if I help GENI?
- How do you explain the GENI Initiative in 30 seconds?
- What do you predict will happen to our planet if we do not complete the global electricity grid?
- Why are you concerned with transporting electricity? why not oil or gas or coal?
- What events do you think will have to take place, in the environment, in society, etc., in order for international leaders to build an international electricity grid?
- What world leaders already support the GENI initiative? Who else has endorsed GENI?
- What are the impediments to building the global electricity grid? If it's so good, how come we're not doing it?
- What has GENI already done?
- How is GENI funded? Who supports GENI's work financially?
- What can someone do to help GENI? How about my family? my friends? my community? my organization? my nation?
- Who will own/administer/control the global electricity network?
- When will the grid be seriously discussed by world leaders?
- Why should a country put itself in a position where it's dependent on another country for its power?
- How can we expect countries to trust each other enough to become so dependent on one another?
- Are the politics involved in establishing electrical connections across national boundaries insurmountable?
- Would building the grid also mean a tax increase for some countries?
- How will this affect trade between countries?
- How do we convince industry, particularly defence industries, to convert to new technology? Can nations at war use this project to convert some defense industries to civilian related uses?
- Did Buckminster Fuller discover that there were other ways to resolve global strife and increase sustainability? Why did he decide that an international grid was the most practical/feasible of solutions?
- A global network is a nice intellectual idea, but the idea of running a cable from Alaska/Canada through Russia, China, and North Korea to South Korea and Japan is very amusing. That's like connecting Florida to Brazil via Cuba — why should we do this?
- Who is against this? What forces are opposing this strategy?
- How technically feasible is the global electric grid? How do the costs and benefits weigh out?
- Who are the winners and the losers of this plan? How do you see this set up as a win/win solution?
- Would it be too expensive to build a global electricity network?
- How much will the global electric grid cost?
- Where will the money come from?
- Where's your cost/benefit analysis? Tell me more about the GENI Computer Model (Simulation).
- What are the business risks?
- I'm an investor — what would be my ROI (return on investment)?
- Why spend the money when we have plenty of coal and oil?
- So what happens to the electricity grid during times of war? Transmission towers and power lines are very vulnerable. If you destroy a transmission line, can terrorists shut down a country?
- Is the global grid going to do anything for the villages across the planet that have no electricity?
- How will this affect the economies of first-world nations? developing nations?
- Are big oil companies a factor that is slowing down the use of renewable energy?
- How can I convince governments with enough coal to last for centuries to switch to renewable resources?
- How can you convince a business that is operating in the area of non-renewable energy (eg. making oil furnaces) that it has to shift? How will we make the leap — taking advantage of remote renewable energy over fossil fuels?
- When do you expect that fossil fuel/nonrenewable production will decrease and green energy production increase?
- Why does renewable energy cost so much?
- Is there enough non-hydro renewable energy available?
Transmission / Efficiency / Connectivity
- How do power grids work?
- What percent of the global electric grid is already complete? What still needs to be built?
- If we started building the international grid today, when would it be finished?
- What about building underwater - wouldn't you lose a lot of electricity - and wouldn't it be very expensive?
- Won't you lose too much electricity over these long distances for this idea to be cost-effective?
- How will the different parts of the world connect to the global grid if they have: different voltages? different outlets and plugs?
- What are the environmental implications? Good and bad?
- What about the EMF issue?
- How will this reduce: acid rain? the greenhouse effect? toxic wastes?
- If we didn't use so much, then a lot of other people on the planet could raise their standard of living. Shouldn't we be conserving energy?
- How will this project reduce hunger?
- In many of the developing countries, women get little education and have lots of children just so the family can survive. How will GENI fix that problem? How will this project stabilize population growth?
- Will the global energy grid bring global peace? How?
- How do you propose that this global shift in cooperation and consciousness will occur?
- How does rural electrification work if all the people in the area can't afford to pay for electricity?
R. Buckminster Fuller
- Who was Bucky? Why was he important? Tell me some background on R. Buckminster Fuller (Bucky)?
Volunteers / Interns
- What can you do?
GENI Web Site Volunteers / Interns:
- With your experience, do you see anything that you would like to contribute/add to the the GENI site that you think is missing? (Why is it important? What community does it address? What need(s) will it fulfill? What question(s) will it answer?) (How would you put this into the GENI site? What software/hardware is required for this to work effectively for ordinary GENI site visitors?)
- Do you see anything on the GENI site that you would like to upgrade to make it available to more people (we are working to keep the GENI site available to as many people as possible, and are designing to a browser standard of Netscape 4.7 at this time).
- Do you have any special skills, expertise, contacts, assets, and/or interests that you feel would contribute to accomplishing the GENI Vision?
- What tools (hardware/software) do you have available that you can use to work on the GENI site?
For those involved in Policy-Making
For a President or Prime Minister:
- What economic gain (or loss) will we realize by interconnecting with our neighbor(s)?
- What if my neighbor decides to cut the circuit? Will my power system go down?
- Will linking electrical systems with my neighbor(s) have political benefits to me?
- How much can I trust my neighbor, i.e. what percentage of power can we afford to lose?
- How much will it cost to get our Quality of Life indicators to _____?
- Where will the money come from to finance these infrastructure projects?
- If we electrify the rural areas, can we expect these people to stay there, or will they still migrate to the urban centers?
- What industries may expand or contract due to this strategy?
- How will this infrastructure plan affect regional stability: short and long term?
- Who is going to be in charge of this transmission system? some new supra-national agency in Washington or at the United Nations?
- What will be the short and long term employment impacts? in each sector: construction, fossil fuel industry, renewable industry, engineering, information industry, R & D
- Will my national security interests be compromised? and what does my defense minister say about this development strategy?
For an Energy Minister:
- What will be the comparable costs of power, generated internally or in a neighboring country?
- Will interconnecting with our neighbors increase/decrease the reliability of my system?
- Where are my cheapest forms of power -- in my country? in the region?
- What is the renewable energy potential within my country?
- How much future demand can be reduced by increasing our energy efficiency?
- How will I best allocate my financial resources in the short term, long term?
- Plus many of the same questions asked by a President or Prime Minister
For People and Organizations involved in:
- What is the renewable energy potential of each region of the world?
- Will renewables increase/decrease in market share as grids expand?
- Can't energy efficiency (ie. Conservation or Demand Side Management) meet the needs of our growing local, national and regional population?
- What's the optimal sustainable energy strategy (mix of generation sources) that will meet the Rio CO2 targets?
- Which will be a cheaper strategy: linking grids or independent energy systems: short term and long term?
- How can you predict Quality of Life improvements based solely on Kwh/capita?
- How do Quality of Life indicators differ in neighboring regions and nations?
- Who will pay for this energy development, and won't it take money away from more essential village-based projects?
- Isn't this development model just following in the footsteps of the developed nations, with all the problems that will ensue?
- Is there some break point where it is cheaper to install freestanding generation systems over linking this village into the grid?
- How do we prioritize our development problems? Have we determined a necessary budget to solve the issues?
- Won't an increase in the living standard actually worsen the population pressures in a developing nation: short term, long term?
- How long before my country could expect to see a decline in birth rates.
- Won't "population momentum" push global population to 8.3 billion no matter what we do?
- How does the energy grid strategy fit into Paul Erlich's equation:
- Population + Technology + Affluence = Environmental Impact
- Can you give any examples where international linkages have forwarded the peace between nations? And for how long?
- What if some terrorist decides to cut the circuit along an international border? What will be the consequences militarily, politically, and energy security?
- If we can't even fully fund UN Peacekeeping operations, how can we expect to fund mega-projects like power grids and generation projects?
- Who would own the transmission system, and do we want another large bureaucracy?
- What treaties and agreements need to be signed to build these international projects?
For Business and Trade Groups in the:
Fossil fuel industry:
- What affect will trans-national interconnections have on domestic and imported coal, oil and gas?
- What percentage of new capacity will be met by coal, oil and gas?
- At what point do you expect renewables to be cost competitive with fossil fuels?
- What impact will th expanding grid network have on the transportation industry? (especially autos, trucks and trains)
- Where are the best renewable sites on the planet?
- How far are these renewable sites from load centers?
- Isn't renewable development best suited for off-grid, isolated populations?
- How will renewables compete in a market that doesn't take externalities into account?
- How do we feed intermittent renewables into a utility grid accustomed to steady power flow?
- Since many of these large grid systems are near water, could they play a role in electrolysing water for hydrogen (as a transport fuel)?
- Where are the missing links in the global energy system?
- How can we benefit from this development strategy? or do we lose?
- What are the optimal voltage levels for specific projects?
- Given political realities, how do we design the system so that each country maintains it's necessary security requirements?
- What amount of metal will be required if this system were to proceed?
Financing power projects:
- What is the cost per kilometer of these transmission systems?
- Do you have examples of successful interconnection projects?
- What rate of return can we expect from this particular project?
- Why aren't the UNDP and/or the World Bank building and financing these projects?
Suggest a new Frequently Asked Question here:
Send your request to: info @ geni.org
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