grid, world leaders, energy ministers, Africa, North
America, South America, Europe, Asia, Australia, continents, regions
It already is being discussed seriously by energy
ministers on 5 continents (Africa, North America,
South America, Europe, Asia).
In the early 1990s, there were 50 nations that
traded electricity across borders. Today there are
100 nations with bilateral interconnections. Extensive
grids exist today in North America, Europe, Scandinavia,
the former Soviet Union and Australia.
This is exceptional growth, when you consider the
requirements of international links: cooperative
engineering, international finance, treaties signed,
and then construction.
Many projects which have been planned for a decade
are now progressing: the Central American link (SIEPAC),
the Gulf States Cooperation Council (Middle East),
the ASEAN network of southeast Asia, and the South
African Development Council (SADC).
Today, all the ministers of Central and South America
are committed to regional integration. The African
continent has advocates for a pan-African grid in
the organizations of SADC, ECOWAS and Eskom. The
APEC and ASEAN trade groups have similar commitments
to interconnect their electric grids. The Chinese
government is planning a national grid with links
begining with its southern neighbors.
The electric grids of 100 other nations remain
isolated. These developing grid systems often terminate
at political borders due to lack of trust. The regions
that remain isolated are usually due to civil strife,
lack of good governance, finance and legal structures.
Investment capital likes energy projects, however
the capital required for these projects does not
like risk, often deferring needed infrastruture
in unstable nations.