M a r c h — 2 0 0 9
The GENI-us Letter

The Electric Grid is the "Missing Link" to Abundant Renewables

Dear GENI Friend,


In 1997, we published an article for the World Business Council for Sustainable Development “Sustain” newsletter entitled “The Missing Link.”   We made the case that developing the abundant, remote renewable energy resources of our planet would require long-distance, high-voltage transmission to deliver clean power to our cities and industry.  In many cases, this transmission would cross international borders, benefiting both nations in the trade of electricity.  Today, many voices are driving this agenda.

In fact, the past several weeks have seen a sea change in commitments by policy-makers and business leaders to address the related challenges between energy, economy and our environment.  At the recent National Clean Energy Forum, Energy Secretary Steven Chu led the conversation to build a unified, national electricity grid.   At another conference hosted by the Federal Electric Reliability Commission, the NERC (North American Electric Reliability Corporation) chairman Rick Sergel emphasized the urgency required, “We absolutely need transmission – we estimate tens of thousands of miles of new transmission is needed to unlock location-constrained, remote energy resources and maintain reliability.”

Of course, the benefits of HVDC (high-voltage direct current) and HVAC (high-voltage alternating current) are not limited to North America.  High-voltage transmission will enable China to tap abundant solar and wind resources in their western regions and deliver that electricity to the densely populated eastern states.   China’s coal-fired energy development has been choking its citizens and adding CO2 to the atmosphere faster than any nation.  HVDC and HVAC connecting remote renewables can be the links in combating climate change globally.

Many world leaders have embraced the GENI InitiativeNow, it’s essential for national investment and infrastructure development to follow.   This development is urgently needed within every nation – and between all neighboring nations.  We’ll continuing pushing for this and encourage you to do the same.

In partnership for the planet,

Peter Meisen


p.s. GENI is working to visualize and simulate these issues going forward.  If you have GIS skills or know an individual with that expertise, please give us a call.

p.p.s. We ask your help in accelerating this progress throughout every nation in 2009.  Please consider renewing your GENI pledge. It will make a real difference in our work.

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Updated: 2008/02/15

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