the western hemisphere interconnection: Yes, the
ten year time frame is certainly possible. President
George W. Bush is the first US President to ever
use the words "national energy grid", which included
strong interties with Canada and Mexico. There are
already 100 links between the US and Canada, but
just a handful between US and Mexico. With the NAFTA
and President Fox's endorsement of the GENI Initiative,
we anticipate further US/Mexico integration in the
next few years.
America is working on their own integrated system
through SIEPAC, and last month Columbia began pursuing
the interconnection to Mexico to sell their excess
hydropower to an energy hungry Mexico City. In July,
1999, all South American energy ministers met and
pledged to build the interconnected energy grid
throughout all of South America.
this in place, the 10 year time frame in the Western
Hemisphere is doable if the political will stays
Eastern Hemisphere is a much bigger area, population,
and number of countries. Yet a few examples highlight
- China has committed to the creation of a national
- The ASEAN nations have made a similar pledge.
- The Gibraltar Strait underwater cable is now
energized selling power between Morocco (Africa)
to Spain (Europe).
- The Gulf States Cooperation Council (5 nations
alone the southern Persian Gulf) are finally
moving forward with their interconnection plan.
- ESKOM of Southern Africa has a plan that includes
an HVDC/HVAC interconnected system for all of
Africa similar to what the Egyptian energy
minister wanted 8 years ago.
- Europe (UCTE system) and the Scandinavian
nations (NORDEL system) are already fully linked,
expanding into the former COMECON nations after
the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. East and
West Europe were almost completely integrated
a decade later.
Many political hurdles, civil wars, and cultural
differences get in the way of sound engineering
especially in Africa, the Middle East and SE Asia.
Yet new lines and underwater cables are being
laid every day -- as the demand for energy is
projected to double and even triple in the next
50 years. Is the eastern grid doable in the next
20 years? Yes, if the players continue making
it a priority.
In 1990, only 50 nations bought and sold power
across borders. Today, in 2003, 100 nations trade
electricity with their neighboring nations. There
are still another 100 nations to go. The trend
is strong for grid interconnection between all