Interview: Global energy interconnection to facilitate sustainable development of energy, water resources

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PARIS, May 15 (Xinhua) -- As global demand for fresh water and energy is growing rapidly, the ensuing constraints on economic and social development are becoming more apparent. Against the backdrop of technological innovation, the coordinated development and utilization of water and energy resources has become a key condition for sustainable economic and social development, according to Liu Zhenya, chairman of the Global Energy Interconnection Development and Cooperation Organization (GEIDCO).

Liu told Xinhua in a recent interview that the development and utilization of the world's water resources are faced with three major challenges: low exploitation rate of hydropower, shortage of fresh water supply, and severe water pollution. The unreasonable development and utilization of energy is an important factor causing fresh water shortages and worsening water pollution.

He pointed out that building the Global Energy Interconnection (GEI) will transform the energy development pattern and accelerate clean and low-carbon development, which provides a fundamental solution to mankind's energy needs and opens a new path to resolve the issue of water resources.

"In essence, the GEI ... serves as an important platform for the large-scale development, transmission and utilization of clean energy worldwide," he said.

Liu emphasized that the GEI will promote the use of clean energy, such as hydro, wind and solar power, to meet global electricity demand.

"By 2050, the installed capacity of clean energy worldwide will exceed 80 percent, reducing pollutant emissions by 630 million tons a year and carbon dioxide emissions from energy consumption to less than half that of 1990."

Sustainable energy will thus be available to all, which in turn will solve major global challenges in the fields of energy, climate and the environment, and will also promote the sustainable development of water resources, he said.

Liu noted that, based on this concept, GEIDCO presented the conclusions of two innovative research projects during the first UNESCO International Water Conference held in Paris on May 13 and 14.

The first report, on the African energy interconnection development, outlines an innovative approach based on the simultaneous development of the relevant electricity-related, mining, metallurgical, manufacturing and trade aspects. This entails the coordination of the planning and construction of clean energy bases, such as hydropower, mining and metallurgy bases, and industrial parks, to build a power market that integrates power generation, transmission and utilization.

The underlying aim is to effectively solve the problems caused by power shortages in industrial development and by limited markets in power development.

Taking into account the abundance of clean energy sources and in light of the trends in technological development, GEIDCO has systematically analyzed energy demand, power supply and demand, as well as power flow in Europe. The aim of the second report is to help build an energy system dominated by clean energy and to further strengthen interconnections. It proposes a planning scheme for interconnections in Europe as well as 11 key interconnection projects from Africa to Europe and Asia to Europe.

According to Liu, building the GEI is a grand undertaking that aims to benefit all mankind. He has called on all parties to work together to accelerate the development of the project.

Founded in March 2016, GEIDCO currently has 635 members in over 90 countries and regions. Enditem

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