Zhenya Liu, the Chairman of the State Grid Corporation of China spoke recently at an Electrical Engineering conference in Washington D.C. about his company’s vision to establish a global energy internet: a vastly encompassing global electricity grid powered by renewable energy sources.
Liu presented his vision for a massive network of high voltage power transmissions he called “Global Energy Internet” which is designed to share renewable power all over the world.
Australia’s Potential in the Global Energy Internet
Countries rich with renewable energy sources such as Australia will have the opportunity to be included among the major renewable energy exporters in the world. Liu said that the global energy internet is a moral imperative for sustainable development. He also stated that this plan is not only sensible but realistic as well.
Many attendees in the conference were naturally sceptical about the global energy internet plan, given the conservative nature of the forum. But due to the distinguished reputation of the speaker, the plan was given serious credibility.
The aspiration of China to be a developer of a global energy internet started in the middle of 2013. Experts at the Chengdu Fortune Global Forum at that time gave this projection as the country continued to develop a greener economy.
“Transition from fossil fuels to green energy will take decades, but we can start with something such as natural gas,” said Sun Simin, chairman of the Asia Clean Energy Innovations Initiative.
The Executive Vice-President of exploration and production of ConocoPhillips, Matt Fox, said that his company has brought LNG from Australia to China, in cooperation with China National Petroleum Corporation.
According to a report compiled by Dupont, in 2013, China produced around 20.7 per cent of global energy demand and that country’s energy consumption is increasing four times faster than anywhere else in the world.
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“China’s growth in energy consumption will profoundly reshape the global energy market in coming years, by boosting energy prices and stimulating scientific innovation across the energy sector, from fossil fuels to renewable energy,” said the same report.
Chinese Investment in Renewable Energy
With its global energy internet, China is working out a vision constructing a vast high voltage transmission network and putting in vast sums of money in renewables. In 2012, this country installed more renewable energy sources than all other types of generation combined.
This country is more serious in its renewable energy goals proven by its installation of solar photovoltaic capacity and wind power more than any other nation on earth.
There are a number of reasons why this country is serious in its renewable target goals. Studies have shown that China is now peaking perilously close to its domestic coal production. That means they will be forced to import coal in the near future.
This country has also the biggest and the worst case of air pollution in the world. Turning to cleaner energy sources is the only way this country can restore their environment to its pristine condition. With the global energy internet scheme, Liu hopes to bring about this condition soon.