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GENI History - A Credible Foundation
"The world electrical energy
grid is the World Game's highest
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 world’s 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 support
the educational and funding activities
of the organization. Global Energy Network
International Foundation LTD was formed
in Australia in 1989. Other affiliate
locations include Canada, Hong Kong, New
Zealand, Singapore and USA.
GENI's 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 GENI’s
- The industry needs compelling evidence that
interconnection of renewable energy sources
via high voltage transmission networks is
both a financially viable and a highly desirable
global energy option;
- The general public and their representative
organizations need to be aware of sustainable
global energy options;
- Our policy makers must be aware of global
sustainable energy options when determining
their regional policy direction and legislation.
Manitoba Workshop Summary:
"The economic benefits have always
exceeded the anticipated or assumed values
that justified the interconnection in
the first place."
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
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
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
"Interconnections would help
reduce greenhouse gases and acid rain
which come from coal"
American Society of
Also that same January, the Institute of Electrical
and Electronic Engineers, Power Engineering
hosted a panel session in New York on
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 GENI’s 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.
"Tapping Remote Renewables,"
"...Massive untapped renewable
energy exists and is available with
- "International Electric Networks:
An Historical and Future Perspective of the
World Bank and United Nations," July,
- "International Interconnections
to Renewable Resources," written
by GENI and co-authored by Joe Falcon, President
of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers,
and Tom Hammons, Chairman of the International
Practices Committee of IEEE/PES, July 1993,
published in the annual Power Generation
book, which is distributed to 8,500 industry
officials around the world.
- "Latin American Power Policy Reforms,"
June, 1994. Presenters include energy ministers,
World Bank infrastructure experts, and utility
- "Middle East Power Policy,"
- "East/West Europe Electricity Infrastructure,
Interconnections and Electrical Exchanges,"
- "Asian Power Policy," January,
"Interconnecting Renewables for Developing
Nations, A Compelling Global Strategy,"
"We must see the problem
as a whole. We must understand and
explain to all other men on the
planet that the interconnection
between power systems of different
countries is one of the important
tasks for all humanity."
Director of Science,
- "International High-Voltage Grids
and Environmental Implications,"
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.
Israeli Foreign Minister Ehud Barak
offered a tough and ambitious definition
of "full peace" between Israel
and Syria. They want "diplomatic
relations, an open border, trade, communication
and transportation links, joint water
projects, and even the integration links,
joint water projects, and even the integration
of the two countries electricity grids."
January 24, 1996
In early 1993, evidence began to surface that
GENI’s message was being recognized.
- Three articles on GENI appeared in global
- "Unbottling the GENI"
in Tomorrow: Global Environment Business,
- "Worldwide Interconnections
May An Idea Whose Time Has Come"
in Transmission & Distribution
- "Linking Electricity for Peace:
a Compelling Global Strategy"
a featured paper in The Bulletin of
SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY & SOCIETY, Vol.
17, Number 4, 1997.
- One week after Yitzhak Rabin and Yasir Arafat
shook hands for peace on the White House lawn
in September of 1993, Newsweek reported
a story on rebuilding the Palestinians' homeland.
Under the heading of "Dreaming up Peace
Projects," the lead item was "Power
Grids: Interlocking electricity grids could
save Israelis and Arabs millions of dollars."
Months later, in January, Mechanical Engineering,
trade magazine of the American Society of Mechanical
Engineers, ran a feature story: "Connecting
the world's electrical grids. Transmission systems
that send bulk power over long distances are
proving that global energy networks are technically
feasible if economic and political incentives
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
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
PUBLIC AND THEIR REPRESENTATIVES
"The most thoughtful
strategy towards peace and sustainable
development that I have ever seen."
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,
"My conclusion is that
to build a new world to build
peace we must literally build
it. Electrical interconnections
between regions and continents is
a vast and visionary undertaking
worthy of our generation."
Ex Governor of Alaska
Chairman, Northern Forum
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
- 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 Gameof
Buckminster Fuller in San Diego and Santa
Barbara. April, 1996. World Game™ events
were featured stories in The Los Angeles
of National Public Radio.
THE POLICY MAKERS
As World Bank President, James Wolffenson
stated that over 2 billion people have
no clean water or electricity.
Research and history show that as
living standards increase, "insurance
births" of developing nations decrease.
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,
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. Between
August and October of 1994, GENI exhibited
at the following:
- US Dept. of Energy National Renewable
Energy Lab Conference entitled
in Commercialization Denver, CO
- 1st International Conference of Computer
Simulation Societies (includes presentation).
- International Conference on Large
High-Voltage Electric Systems (CIGRE)
United Nations Conference on Population
and Development. Cairo, Egypt
"The difficulties and
risks could be balanced by the
positive aspects of a project.
And these are stability and
distribution of wealth through
the success of a project. It
will help community stability.
It will help stabilize or reduce
population growth which is a
major issue on the environment
UN Special Advisor on Africa
- International Exposition in Beijing,
Power China 94.
- Rotary International Conventions
- Also presentations were made to numerous
- International Solar Energy Society.
- Transmission & Distribution International
- CEPSI 94 Conference of the Electricity
Power Supply Industry in East Asia and
the Western Pacific. Christchurch,
- Battelle Pacific Northwest Laboratories.
- 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 Energy’s National
Renewable Energy Lab, plenary presentation.
June, 1996, Denver.
- First World Sustainable Energy Trade
Fair, May, 1997, Amsterdam
- IEEE/Power Engineering Society, 1998,
- In October, 1995, 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.
- That same month, GENI exhibited at the
1995 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.
"I have followed closely the
work of Global Energy Network International
for some time, and find the project
to be one of the most important opportunities
to further the cause of environmental
protection and sustainable development."
Noel Brown as
North American Director,
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
What is Comprehensive Anticipatory
Design Science and why is it relevant and
critical in the today’s world? From a global
perspective, we are faced with daunting challenges
as documented by World Resources, 1996-1997:
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.
"A global energy network makes
enormous sense if we are to meet global
energy needs with a minimal impact on
the world's environment."
In a letter from
as a US Senator
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. GENI’s question
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 today’s
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.
"We endorse the
project without reservation as being a
good example of the simulation studies
form the Mission Earth activity."
Ben Clymer as Chairman,
Mission Earth Activity
Computer Simulation Model
As a result of early research, GENI identified
a major limitation for the industry's wider
use of interconnection of large scale, renewable
energy resources: the lack of a suitable, validated
computer simulation model to demonstrate the
cost/benefit of various scenarios which would
include a comparison with other energy scenarios,
for example, those of the World Energy Council.
A Computer Simulation Model was conceived as
this critical management tool. It would factor
in quality of life indicators including infant
mortality, life expectancy, literacy and safe
drinking water, as well as criteria for meeting
the environmental standards set forth by the
Earth Summit Agenda 21 and signed by nations
around the world.
"The GENI computer simulation
model will be the first comprehensive
energy management model to incorporate
renewable energy options. The results
of this simulation will support integrated
energy resources planning by quantifying
the impact of the method of power generation
on not only economic, but also social,
health and environmental conditions."
In 1994, GENI presented the model to the Mission
Earth Task Force of the Society for Computer
Simulation (SCS). Several of the world's top
modelers committed to assisting with the model.
By November, the Mission Earth Activity endorsed
and began advising the GENI Computer Model research
project. GENI was featured in an article in
Simulation, the SCS magazine, on "Simulation
in the Service of Society." In April, 1995,
GENI got the cover and feature article in Simulation:
"The GENI Model: The Interconnection
of Global Power Resources to Obtain an Optimal
Global Sustainable Energy Solution."
Based on this preliminary work, a full proposal
was put together to obtain the funding necessary
to complete the model.
(Funding requirement: $1.6
Documentary Film "The Powerful Planet"
To leverage our communication with the general
public and in collaboration with the non-profit
Earth Vision Productions, GENI initiated a Documentary
Film Project. "The Powerful Planet"
will be an hour-long film suitable for international
broadcast media. Over 20 hours of expert interviews
have been logged to date, and a production team
is meeting regularly to advance this project
to potential corporate sponsors.
(Funding requirement: $325,000)
"The extensive international
cooperation necessary would mean alternative
expenditures to armaments, and at the
same time, help overcome social-economic
problems which exist today in developing
Yevgeny Velikhov as Vice-President,
Academy of Sciences
International Conference "CONNECT
To accelerate bringing this global
energy grid into reality, GENI is developing
"CONNECT 2000" An International Conference
on the Global Grid Initiative. The goals of
this Conference are as follows:
- to bring together engineers, environmentalists,
policy makers and financiers to discuss implementation
of the large regional networks that are currently
- to draft a quantitative analysis of a
number of interconnections between existing
and proposed inter-regional systems;
- to identify the market needs, financial
analysis, technical and political feasibility
of electricity needed in the coming decades;
- to define how the expansion of electrical
networks fits with the Agenda 21 goals of
the Sustainable Development Council of the
- to analyze the reduction of greenhouse
gases as renewables replace fossil fuel generation.
(Funding Requirement: $525,000)
"There is no energy shortage.
There is no energy crisis. There is
a crisis of ignorance."
With there three projects in place,
policy makers will have the management tools
to make decisions that are comprehensive, that
anticipate trends and the consequences of their
decisions and can design systems that will make
current problems obsolete. The public will be
informed to understand and support policy makers
in making decisions based on sustainability.
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Buckminster Fuller Institute, Santa Barbara.
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DIRECTORS & OFFICERS
Peter Meisen (President)
Graeme Edwards (Vice Pres.)
Joanalys Smith (Secretary)