Energy Grid Could Even Out the Load
Wall Street Journal
Marketplace: Earth Summit Notebook
ENVIRONMENT By Frank Edward
Allen, Tuesday, June 16, 1992
Disciples of Buckminster Fuller spread his energy
gospel in Rio.
The prolific inventor-philosopher, who died in 1983,
is perhaps best remembered for the geodesic dome.
Now, his idea to create an electricity grid linking
all continents is being promoted by Global Energy
Network International, a research group in San Diego.
GENI's exhibit at the sprawling Global Forum drew
thousands of visitors.
Instead of relying on fossil fuels, the grid would
use only renewable energy: electricity from solar,
tidal and river sources around the world. By linking
generators and ultrahighvoltage power lines, electric
utilities could buy and sell power widely among themselves,
taking advantage of peaks and valleys in demand every
24 hours as the Earth turns. That would free utilities
from having to build and maintain the huge capacity
needed to meet all local demand on, say, sweltering
Transmission technology has made big strides since
Mr. Fuller thought of the world grid 30 years ago.
Several hundred miles was the transmission limit then.
Now the effective distance exceeds 4,000 miles. That's
enough to reach most parts of India and China, where
half the world's people live, from generating stations
in deserts or along the coasts.