idea of running an electric cable around the planet
and wheeling power from one country to another sounds
great in theory, but it would seem to put a nation
at a security risk. Yet today, 100 nations trade
power cross their borders.
notion of dependence implies that one country is
subservient to another. What the energy grid
offers is a mutually interdependent relationship
that is beneficial for both sides (a win/win
ideal trading relationship can be established because
demand for electricity varies hourly between time
zones and seasonally between north/south hemispheres.
When one country has excess power, it can be sold
to a neighbor if the price is right, benefiting
both. This is particularly true as the buying country
is able to purchase the power cheaper than can generate
situation may be exactly reversed later in the day,
reversing the buy/sell equation so again
it's mutually beneficial. This is what has happened
between developed nations around the world and why
utilities have connected across borders. Nobody
wants to switch the circuit off because it's like
shooting yourself in the foot.
an energy security viewpoint, there is a basic rule
of thumb with these international links never
count one your neighbor for more than you can afford
to lose. This establishes one reliability criteria
for system operators.