een wereldwijd elektriciteitsnet een oplossing voor veel problemen  GENI es una institución de investigación y educación-enfocada en la interconexión de rejillas de electricidad entre naciones.  ??????. ????????????????????????????????????  nous proposons la construction d’un réseau électrique reliant pays et continents basé sur les ressources renouvelables  Unser Planet ist mit einem enormen Potential an erneuerbaren Energiequellen - Da es heutzutage m` glich ist, Strom wirtschaftlich , können diese regenerativen Energiequellen einige der konventionellen betriebenen Kraftwerke ersetzen.  한국어/Korean  utilizando transmissores de alta potência em áreas remotas, e mudar a força via linha de transmissões de alta-voltagem, podemos alcançar 7000 quilómetros, conectando nações e continentes    
What's Geni? Endorsements Global Issues Library Policy Projects Support GENI
Add news to your site >>

About Us

Global energy grid a salvation
for developing countries

Solve overpopulation, infant mortality, chronic hunger, fossil fuel pollution, deforestation and desertification through a global electrical grid.
Sound like a bold statement?
If the members of GENI - Global Energy Network, International - are correct, we could expect this and much more.
by Chris Klein and Peter Meisen
wenty years ago, R. Buckminster Fuller, self-taught inventor, scientist and mathematician, proposed interconnecting regional power systems into a single, continuous world electric grid. While his global vision is still decades away, technological advances over the past two decades have made the linking of international and interregional networks practical today.

The World Game

The importance of a global electrical network was a startling result of Mr. Fuller's "World Game". The World Game is a serious exercise, where players are asked to be world planners and "to make the world work for 100 percent of humanity in the shortest possible time through spontaneous cooperation without ecological offense or the disadvantage of anyone." The game bypasses politics, human ignorance, prejudice and war, and is the opposite of a war game.
The World Game is played on special maps that show the distribution of population world wide. The input to the game is all the planet's resources, human needs, trends and technical know-how. Society and human needs are many: food, water, shelter, health care, education, communications, travel, economics, and infrastructure, like roads, sewers and energy. The goal of the World Game is to deliver resources so that everyone's standard of living can be improved to the "bare maximum." We're all familiar with the notion of bare minimum - just enough to survive. Bare maximum is the set of resources that will allow everyone to fully realize their potential.
The World Game has been played many hundreds of times. The surprising result is that the games almost always revolve around a common point: electrical power is required for industrialization. Whether the issue is food, communications, transportation, housing, health care or economics, electrical energy plays a significant role. In every hypothesis about how to satisfy humanity's needs, electricity is the key.

GENI is no dream

GENI was founded in 1985 by longtime San Diego resident Peter Meisen. The goal of GENI is to educate all people, especially world leaders, about the potential benefits of Fuller's proposed global electric grid. No stranger to large projects, Peter previously distinguished himself as the cofounder of the SHARE food-distribution program, now serving more than a quarter of a million people in a dozen states.
GENI and Fuller's plan are attracting substantial interest in local and international arenas, including highly placed political figures and the technologists responsible for the electrical transmission infrastructure.
Vice President Al Gore said of the plan, "A global energy network makes enormous sense if we are to meet global energy needs with a minimal impact on the world's environment."
Vevgeny Velikhov, vice-president of the Russian Academy of Sciences, acknowledged, "Its accomplishment can produce concrete economical benefits and serve as a positive influence in solving global ecological problems. The extensive international cooperation necessary would mean alternative expenditures to armaments, and at the same time help overcome socioeconomic problems which exist today in developing countries."
Numerous articles have appeared in magazines and newspapers, and stories have run on radio and TV. Serious articles about the practicality and technology required to establish the power grid have appeared in respected trade publications such as Transmission and Distribution International and Power Generation Technology.
It looks like the global energy grid is an idea whose time has come.

Power to the people

The technology required to implement a global electrical grid is a relatively new development. As recently as 30 years ago, electricity could only be efficiently transported about 350 miles. Breakthroughs in materials science extended this transmission distance to 1,500 miles.
Today, state-of-the-art ultrahigh voltage (UHV) transmission lines extend this distance to 4,000 miles. Application of this technology will allow power exchange between the northern and southern hemispheres, as well as the east and west.
The most obvious benefit of this technology is to move power from where it can be cheaply and efficiently generated to where it is needed. However, another important benefit is the enhanced ability to make use of environmentally sound, renewable resources.
"There are massive sources of renewables in specific locations, not always where the big population centers are located," explains Peter Meisen. "But they are within transmission reach."
Major sources of renewable power include:
  • Large untapped hydroelectric sites in Latin America, Canada, Alaska, Siberia, Southeast Asia and Africa.
  • Tidal sites in Argentina, Canada, Siberia, China, Australia and India.
  • Solar potential circles the earth in Mexico, USA, Africa, the Middle East, Russia, India, China and Australia.
  • Geothermal potential around the Pacific Ocean's "ring of fire," in the Rift Valley of Africa, and Iceland.
Sanyo Electric estimates that capturing the solar energy available in 400 square miles of desert could supply our total global power needs through the year 2000. According to global engineering firm ASEA Brown Baveri, we have only tapped 14 percent of available hydropower.

On the level

Another important benefit comes from load leveling - the sharing of energy between areas of high and low demand. The need for electrical power changes dramatically during the course of a day and from season to season. Usage is low at night when lights are off and people are sleeping and high during the day when people and businesses are working. In cold climates, usage is substantially higher during winter, while warm climates usually use more energy in the summer.
This variation is bad news for electric utilities. Electric generators, particularly fossil fuel and nuclear, are most efficient when run 24 hours a day. To meet peak-load demand, generators must be turned on during the daytime and turned off in the evening. This cycle is repeated every day for every city around the world. In addition, excess power must be generated in case of emergencies such as a generator failure. If not sold, this excess power is a total loss.
Long-distance power transmission lines have solved the problem of wasted power. Utilities routinely buy and sell power among themselves. If a utility can buy cheaper power and not have to turn on a generator, a real win-win situation is created. The buyer wins with cheaper power and the seller wins by being able to sell its excess power for profit.
Using high voltage transmission lines, utilities now even out the peak-and-valley usage patterns of adjacent time zones. The last 25 years have seen the growth of extensive interconnected power grids. This includes the countries of the former Soviet Union, Europe, Scandinavia, Mexico and the eastern and western United States. More than 50 nations have interconnections across their borders.
In the future, Fuller's vision will make it possible to interconnect the power grids of separate continents. Power generators on the night side of the planet can continue to run at maximum efficiency and sell the power to the day side, which can avoid activating additional units.
Electric utilities reserve their older and less efficient generators - and usually their most polluting - to handle the peak load times. With global load leveling these low-efficiency units can remain off.
Since utilities must now have peak generating capacity that is typically no less than twice the daily average demand, this worldwide load leveling could effectively double the available generating capacity, with a resulting reduction in cost and an increase in everyone's standard of living.
This also means there would be enough power for the developing nations, plus the means of delivery.

Efficient energy generation

The global energy grid will result in more efficient generation by improvement in infrastructure in the developing world. The first and second world economies have learned to be more efficient with resources; being able to do "more with less" is a natural law, once you have gone beyond basic subsistence.
In the past 20 years the U.S. economy grew by 40 percent while the energy demand remained constant. Still, 80 percent of energy use generates some kind of toxic pollution. Therefore, efficiency alone is not enough to resolve the difficult environmental issues.
In the next 20 years, the energy demand of developing countries will double. To avoid this clear environmental crisis, we must ensure the use of renewable resources and state-of-the-art, energy-efficient technologies.

Population and energy demand

Our global population continues to grow at an accelerated rate. We now add a billion people in just one decade. This is striking when you realize we had only 2.5 billion just halfway through this century, compared to 5.5 billion today.
Most of this population increase will come from the developing countries. Just as noteworthy, once a society reaches an adequate living standard, the rate of growth levels off. As can be seen in accompanying figures, population growth is inversely correlated to energy use. That is, societies that show a higher energy use also have a lower birth rate.
Along with good family-planning practices, many development specialists feel that a fundamental way to empower declining birth rates in developing nations in a morally acceptable manner is to help them improve their living standards. Once a family can sustain itself, there is no need for "insurance births" which create the large families required to support the elders in later life. When adequate health care and infrastructure are available, lower infant mortality also reduces the number of births required to ensure a stable family. Access to a cheap, reliable, plentiful supply of energy is vital to this goal.

Paying the electrical bill

Imagine a "backbone" of the global grid: starting at the tip of South America, proceeding through Central America to the United States, reaching up past Canada and Alaska, crossing the Bering Strait to Siberia, thence on to the Middle East and ending at the southern tip of Africa. At an average cost of $1 million per mile, this 25,000-mile UHV line would cost around $25 billion. This is a lot of money, but only 5 percent of the combined annual military budgets of the United States and Russia.
Of course, a single line would not do the trick. To totally and appropriately interconnect the world's population centers would require several times this length. One must also add the cost of local distribution systems where such do not exist. However, unlike some huge projects that only show a benefit at the end - the "Star Wars" defense system, for example - the global grid provides returns as each leg of the system is put into place.
At a time when we are looking for economic conversion - a way to turn our guns into plowshares and our industrial/military machine to useful purposes - the global grid is a perfect target. This is a large-scale, no-holds-barred, high-tech project that the large publicly-funded defense establishment could transition to.

Letting the GENI out of the bottle

GENI's mission is to "accelerate the attainment of the optimal ecologically sustainable energy solution in the shortest period of time for the peace, health and prosperity of us all." The organization is engaged in two primary activities to achieve this goal.
Education is the one key to the mission. "We have to get a critical mass of people who know that there is an energy alternative," says Peter Meisen. "Right now, they just don't know."
To spread the word, GENI makes presentations, participates in conferences, produces and distributes videos, newsletters, and other information tools. GENI is currently working on an hour-long documentary film, appropriate for international broadcast, to help tell their story.
GENI has affiliates in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Moscow, Texas, Alaska and the U.K. which are helping to spread the word. These affiliates are organized and run by small groups of volunteers who share the vision and assist with education and fund-raising.
GENI's second major focus is the creation of a sophisticated computer model of world energy over the next year. Peter explains, "Inputs to the model are world energy; population; time-zone data; available renewable and nonrenewable resources; and costs and demand centers. By optimizing the model, we hope to produce an energy scenario with a better bottom line and better environmentally. We'll be asking, 'is this an optimal scenario for 5.5 billion people?'"
The purpose of the model is not to determine whether this is a good idea - there is plenty of qualitative evidence for that. As Peter points out, every transmission line ever built has proved to be better economically than expected, based on the figures originally used to justify its construction. What an incredible record.
There are plenty of individual connections going in around the world right now, but there's no defined goal, no commonality. Each is being controlled by the local bureaucracies, whether in California or the Middle East, to solve local problems. GENI feels that if they can garner worldwide agreement about the validity of the scenarios developed from their computer model, transcending political boundaries, then there is an opportunity and justification to create unified systems. "If we can define a better vision for us all, then everybody will be driving toward that much more quickly," explains Peter. "With today's known, technically feasible technology, we can tap the world's enormous renewable energy potential and deliver it to the world's population centers."
While Mr. Fuller's most visible and remembered contribution to modern life may be the geodesic dome, his vision of the global electrical grid, linking renewable resources for our "global village," may be his most important contribution to life in the next century.


Call to action... what you can do

  • Become a member and make a financial contribution to GENI. Most of GENI's income comes from private pledges.
  • Volunteer. GENI depends on volunteers to take their vision to the world. Specific needs are:
    • Office help: filing, organizing, mailing, etc.
    • Research associates for computer model: individuals with computer and/or modeling expertise are needed.
  • Outreach: Arrange a presentation for your group, class, or trade conference.
  • Spread the vision: Share the GENI vision with friends and business associates. Videos are available at a nominal cost.

You can reach GENI by phone at +1-619-595-0139. Their mailing adrress is: P.O. Box 81565/ San Diego, CA 92138.

Updated: 2016/06/30

If you speak another language fluently and you liked this page, make a contribution by translating it! For additional translations check out (Voor vertaling van Engels tot Nederlands) (For oversettelse fra Engelsk til Norsk)
(Для дополнительных переводов проверяют )