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GENI History

A Credible Foundation

Ä INTRODUCTION

Global Energy Network Institute was founded in 1986 by Peter Meisen to investigate the idea of Dr. R. Buckminster Fuller, proposing a global electric energy grid as the number one priority to solve many of the worldís most pressing problems. In 1991, GENI was incorporated in San Diego, California, as a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation to conduct research and education related to a compelling and technologically feasible global energy strategy that addresses fundamental issues of quality of life, energy efficiency and sustainable development. That strategy is to interconnect electrical power grids between countries and continents, thereby creating an interconnected global energy grid, with an emphasis on linking local and remote renewable energy resources (wind, solar, hydro, geothermal, tidal and biomass). The focus is on electricity and its sources because of their relationship to all the major measures of a sustainable society and environment.

GENI affiliates. Global Energy Network International Foundation LTD was formed in Australia in 1989. Other affiliate locations include :

Canada, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Singapore and USA.

GENIís mission is to accelerate the attainment of optimal, sustainable energy solutions in the shortest

possible time for the peace, health and prosperity of all.

In considering the decision-making processes of the global electricity industry, four areas of activity were identified to accomplish GENIís mission:

Ä ESTABLISHING CREDIBILITY

In the initial phase, GENI established the technical feasibility and validity of this Global Grid Initiative. In 1991, in cooperation with the Manitoba HVDC Research Centre, GENI hosted the International Workshop On The Limits of Long Distance High-Voltage Power Transmission And The Corresponding Economic, Environmental and Socio-Political Implications. This conference took place in Winnipeg, Canada, for 36 multi-disciplined experts from around the world. They concurred on the potential benefits of expanding power networks between nations and continents.

Six months later, in January of 1992, Russians and Americans meet in Anchorage, Alaska to discuss The Potential Of An Electrical Interconnection Between Russia And North America. Hosted by GENI and the Alaska Energy Authority, power engineers from both countries began to study an underwater linkage between the two continents, making available the enormous renewable resource potential of the northern latitude regions.

Also that same January, the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, Power Engineering Society (IEEE/PES) hosted a panel session in New York on

Remote Renewable Energy Sources made Possible by High Voltage Interconnections. Panelists stated that massive untapped renewable energy exists and is available with current technology.

Convinced of the validity of this initiative, a long and productive affiliation with the IEEE/PES began, defining a new phase for GENI of creating awareness and technological corroboration around what is now referred to as The GENI Initiative.

With GENIís collaboration in organizing topics and speakers, numerous panels between 1992 and 1998 focused regionally on the long distance interconnection of electrical grids linking remote renewable resources. Following is a list of articles resulting from those panels and published in the IEEE/PES Power Engineering Review over a period of several years. Over 23,000 engineers involved in research, manufacturing and utility planning receive this publication.

GENI has focused on researching the development of transmission and distribution networks as a viable option to meet our global energy requirements. These panel sessions and subsequent articles provided a body of technical evidence for the feasibility, efficacy and desirability of The GENI Initiative.

Clear evidence indicates that large scale, remote renewable energy resources could be made available via high-voltage transmission. GENI continues to work with the electricity industry to explore the implications of interconnections around the world.

In early 1993, evidence began to surface that GENIís message was being recognized.

By mid 1995, interconnecting electrical grids was no longer a strategy needing proof, but was now a phenomenon to be reported. The New Scientist, a major scientific publication of the commonwealth countries, featured Global Power, The Electric Hypergrid with a focus on GENI as the organization driving the idea. Picking up on the article just days after its release, the BBC interviewed GENI's founder, Peter Meisen and the article's author, Fred Pearce.

Ä EDUCATING THE PUBLIC AND THEIR REPRESENTATIVES

The second area of activity for GENI has focused on educating the general public regarding The GENI Initiative and on building collaborative relationships with individuals and organizations. The following were the main projects to accomplish these objectives:

  • What If... A New Global Option, a 15-minute video. Introduced by John Denver, the video has been viewed on all continents. November, 1989.
  • A second 15-minute video, A WIN-WIN Solution, featuring interviews with a dozen specialists from the Winnipeg workshop. Strong corroboration for the initiative was expressed by engineers, environmentalists and diplomats. September, 1991.
  • Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. GENI's exhibit was seen by thousands from around the world. Relationships were established with energy and environmental research organizations, as well as NGOs from every continent. Dozens of press interviews were held with GENI, including ones with The Wall Street Journal, Nippon Kenzai Shinbum (Japan's business newspaper), Public Broadcasting, the World Monitor and the BBC. June, 1992.
  • Meetings took place in Washington, DC to establish relationships with the US Department of Energy, National Wildlife Federation, World Resources Institute, The World Bank, Business Executives for National Security, Battelle Pacific Northwest Labs.
  • GENI sponsored and organized the Buckminster Fuller Symposium and Centennial Celebration for 600 participants. Activities included a multi-media Opening Ceremony, several World Games™, Symposia by 15 colleagues and students of Bucky, a Film Festival, display of the only remaining Dymaxion Car, and a Bucky for Kids Festival. July 1995.
  • GENI hosted the World Game™ of Buckminster Fuller in San Diego and Santa Barbara. April, 1996. World Game™ events were featured stories in The Los Angeles Times and Science Friday of National Public Radio.

Ä REACHING THE POLICY MAKERS

A third key area in accomplishing The GENI Initiative has been educating our policy makers. Primarily this took the form of sending our annual newsletter to every president, prime minister, energy minister, environment minister, and U.N. Ambassador in the world.

In addition, when issues like the conflict between North and South Korea and peace talks between Israel and Syria arose, GENI was proactive in writing to the key decision makers to present the interconnection of their electrical grids as not only a possibility resulting from their accord, but also as a mechanism for driving the peace process. A win-win business opportunity engenders cooperation.

GENI exhibited at numerous energy conferences attended by energy policy makers:
  • US Dept of Energy National Renewable Energy Lab Conference entitled Partners in Commercialization Denver, CO
  • 1st International Conference of Computer Simulation Societies (includes presentation). Zurich, Switzerland
  • International Conference on Large High-Voltage Electric Systems (CIGRE) Paris, France
  • United Nations Conference on Population and Development. Cairo, Egypt
  • International Exposition in Beijing, China entitled Electric Power China 94.
  • Rotary International Conventions since 1998.
Also presentations were made to numerous organizations:
  • International Solar Energy Society. Budapest
  • Transmission & Distribution International Exposition. Amsterdam
  • CEPSI 94 Conference of the Electricity Power Supply Industry in East Asia and the Western Pacific. Christchurch, NZ
  • Battelle Pacific Northwest Laboratories. Richland, Washington
  • The Northern Forum, governors representing provinces of 21 northern latitude states, September, 1995, Japan. Walter Hickel, a staunch proponent of the GENI Initiative, is the Sec. Gen. of The Northern Forum.
  • World Renewable Energy Conference, hosted by the Department of Energyís National Renewable Energy Lab, plenary presentation. June, 1996, Denver.
  • First World Sustainable Energy Trade Fair, May, 1997, Amsterdam
  • IEEE/Power Engineering Society, 1998, Florida
  • At the invitation of Mikhail Gorbachev, Peter Meisen attended the State of the World Forum in San Francisco with 400 others from around the world. Hundreds of world business, spiritual and political leaders, including President Gorbachev, were introduced to The GENI Initiative. Many expressed genuine interest in the strategy. 1995-1999.
  • GENI exhibited at the '95 World Energy Conference in Japan with 3000 of the world's core energy industry and ministry leaders, World Bank and United Nations energy specialists. The World Bank representative for Asia expressed a need for a comprehensive planning tool for the entire Asian region. Also: Houston, 1998; Buenos Aires, 2001.

In the initial ten years of its existence, GENI has accomplished its first level of objectives: technological credibility of its Initiative, public awareness and relationship with other organizations, and education of world leaders regarding this Initiative. GENI has now entered a new phase in which we will play an even more proactive role in causing its purpose to be realized.

Ä COMPREHENSIVE ANTICIPATORY DESIGN SCIENCE

What is Comprehensive Anticipatory Design Science and why is it relevant and critical in the todayís world?

From a global perspective, we are faced with daunting challenges as documented by World Resources, 1996-97: the accelerating confluence of population expansion, increased demand for energy, food, clean drinking water, adequate housing, the destructive environmental effects of pollution from fossil fuels and nuclear waste, plus the growing divergence between the haves and have-nots and the potential for ensuing conflicts.

Only recently have national elected officials realized what global corporations already know: the issues of today and the future transcend political boundaries and nationalistic thinking and are globally interrelated, affecting each other in multiple ways.

When viewed as a whole, solutions arise that address multiple, interrelated issues in ways that otherwise would not be apparent if addressing each issue in isolation. Some strategies must be global, and any investigation into global solutions must, therefore, be comprehensive. Population growth, energy demand and pollution are predictable as trends. Planning must anticipate these trends if we are to find solutions that can stay ahead of them. We then ask the engineers and architects to design systems that will enable us to provide a desired quality of life. Appropriate design must include consequences for natural resource use, cost efficiency and human factors.

The science includes the proper scientific method and asking the right questions from the beginning. GENIís question is how do we provide a decent living standard for everyone on the planet without damaging the environment for the long term?

Good design must also include awareness of universal scientific principles. Ideally, artifacts and tools can then be created so that old problems disappear, since the new design makes them obsolete.

The computer replacing the typewriter is a good example. Comprehensive anticipatory design science acknowledges interrelatedness, trends and principles and then builds to meet todayís needs without compromising the needs and environment for future generations. This is exactly what The GENI Initiative does.

Given current world conditions and evidence that supports the scientific soundness of The GENI Initiative, three projects have been designed which will forward its realization.


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