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    
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Committee on Natural Resources
First Session
22 February - 5 March 1971
Item 4 of the provisional agenda

11 January 1971


Report of the Secretary-General
Environmental Problems of Energy Production and Utilization

(paragraphs 44 - 49)

The concept of the intra and inter-continental movement of electricity.

In view of the pressing present and future needs for minimizing pollution in the generation of electric power, the search for less polluting energy resources such as hydro, geothermal and tidal power has acquired a new meaning and importance. The preceding sections have noted that considerable potentials remain to be realized from resources in the field of hydro-power and particularly that there are excellent sites existing in remote locations too far away from power markets previously to be economically exploitable. In other locations, prospective sites may be conveniently located to local power markets, but these markets particularly in the developing nations, may be so small as to prevent full utilization of the potential output of a large site. The problem of developing the many large hydro-power sites that exist in developing countries appears to resolve itself into the provision of adequate transmission facilities which would allow this output to have access to appropriate power markets. Power transmission systems would, therefore, need to become cheaper and more effective.

Considerable research is being carried out on the subject of extra high voltage transmission, using both alternating and direct current technologies, whilst the subject of cryogenics using low temperature super conducting techniques appears to hold promise for the future. Considerable progress has already been made in the Soviet Union where power is transmitted by extra high voltage transmission over thousands of miles.

Bearing in mind the pressing need for non-polluting sources of electricity in the developed regions of North America and Europe, the possibility arises of constructing high voltage inter-continental grid systems which would allow the transmission of power obtained by the development of large hydro potentials.

Thus, an inter-continental connection between North and South America would link the large hydro-power potential of South America with the electricity demand of North America. In addition, there are good reasons to believe that excellent geothermal exists from California southwards all the way through the South American Andes. The availability of an inter-continental transmission system would also allow the cheap and non-polluting form of energy to be exploited to the fullest extent. The same reasoning could be applied to the continent of Africa, where vast hydro-electric potential could be exploited for the European power markets. As an example of the possibilities, it may be noted that one site on the Congo River at Inga is capable of being developed to approximately 29,000 MW. The geothermal possibilities of the African rift valley may also be extensively developed through an inter-continental transmission network. Additionally otherwise non-marketable natural gas along the way of the transmission system could be used for electric generation fed into the system.

A further important non-polluting source of electricity is tidal power and in the Western Hemisphere, considerable potential exists in the Bay of Fundy area in Canada and in Argentina. A very high voltage inter-continental transmission network would be the obvious method of connecting these energy sources to appropriate power markets.

!!! An even bolder, and more long-range conception would be to consider East-West, as well as North-South, inter-continental connections so as to utilize capacity better in view of the time differences in peak demand, leading ultimately, for the future, to a global grid system.

In view of the foregoing comments, it is not improbable that given the political will of the international community that intra and even intercontinental power grids may be a realistic method of alleviating some of the world's present pollution problems and supply power needs economically. This question deserves study at the international level. Such a study, which could be conducted by a group of high level experts, may include an examination of the yet unexploited large scale hydro-power source of the world, a broad assessment of the technical considerations involved in the transmission of electricity by extra high voltage systems and an analysis of the economic factors involved in intra and inter-continental power grids.

( !!! - editor's note: emphasis added. )


Updated: 2016/06/30

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