China is looking to build a $50 trillion global wind and solar power grid, which will seek to connect countries’ grids and generate enough electricity to power the globe.[quote] The Global Energy Interconnection (GEI) project was introduced by the State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC) in 2015. The country hopes to connect wind farms in the Arctic Circle with solar farms located on the equator in a system that will surpass national boundaries and provide renewable energy everywhere. [China needs US$1tn to create ‘green’ cities]
Liu Zhenya, the chairman of the SGCC said that GEI is the “best option if renewable sources of energy, like solar and wind, are ever going to become a practical alternative to burning dirty fossil fuels.”
The SGCC states that if renewable energy generation increases at an annual rate of 12.4% globally every year, renewable energy could account for 80% of the world’s total energy consumption by 2050.
The State Grid is said to be the largest power utility worldwide, with nearly two million employees and more than $300 billion in annual operating revenue. It has also scooped up stakes in power assets in Brazil, Italy and elsewhere in the past few years.
Staged global grid expansion
According to the Wall Street Journal, the GEI project is divided into three major stages. From now until 2020, the project will focus on the promotion of renewable energy development, domestic grid interconnection and smart grid construction in countries across the world. [China bids to boost renewable energy market]
By 2030, plans to connect grids between countries and building of large energy bases will be accelerated. Following this, in 2050, the focus will switch to “creating polar and equatorial energy bases, concentrating new energy generation technologies in those areas where they can do the most good.”
China is reported to be working on some other daring ideas to generate additional renewable energy. In a few years, Shenzhen will be host to the world's largest waste-to-energy plant. Subsequently, the country hopes to be providing energy to its islands in the South China Sea via a fleet of floating nuclear power plants.
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