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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WORLD CITIZEN NEWS Newsletter of the
World Government
of World Citizens

Volume X
Number 6
Dec./Jan. 1997

Page 16

Power Transmission: False Fear or Global Solution?

By: Peter Meisen, President, Global Energy Network International (GENI)

Fear is a prime motivator of mankind, whether the fear is real or unfounded. Since 1979, electromagnetic fields (EMF) have been vilified by some environmentalists as a cause of childhood leukemia. Power transmission lines were suspected as the carriers of this unseen danger, and utility opponents blocked projects and advocated the re-routing or burial of lines -- at tremendous additional expense to the power companies and ultimately to the consumer.

Now, after 500 independent studies and millions spent to examine the impacts of EMFs, the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences reports that no direct link can be found between cancer and exposure to these fields. Their research will continue, as they determine whether other factors involved in urban life may cause a statistical increase in leukemia cases.

If transmission lines had been found guilty, modern society would be turned inside-out, since everything with an electric cord has an electromagnetic field surrounding it. The closer we stand to a home appliance or wire, the stronger the field. By doubling your distance from the source, you decrease the EMF strength by a factor of 4. Given this equation, "prudent avoidance" became the industry watchword.

We put some balance back into the debate by examining the benefits of power transmissions to our quality of life. Simply stated, almost everything we do requires electrical energy — lighting and air-conditioning; pumping water and treating sewage; communications by telephone, TV, radio and the Internet; the pumping of gasoline and air traffic control systems; construction of buildings; banking and stock markets; even the printing of this newspaper. We see how our lives rely on electricity when we lose it as a result of system failure or weather-related outage.

For virtually all people who live in our developed world, transmission lines provide the "freeway of electrons" that deliver this energy for our daily use. Whether power is generated by coal, gas, nuclear, wind or hydro, the only way to move this power is through these interconnected power networks.

In stark comparison, two-billion people in the developing world have no electricity. One third of humanity has never switched on a light bulb! In a typical family, the women and children walk miles every day to collect firewood for cooking and water, the latter of which is not even potable.

Nothing improves the quality of life faster in a village than the introduction of electricity — for a water pump, a refrigerator, for medicine and food, and to light up the health clinic and schoolhouse. Research shows that when a developing society reaches 2000 kilowatt-hours/person/year, a threshold is reached that bolsters the society out of the "developing" status. (The average American uses 12,000 kwh/year; in Europe and Japan. use is 6,000 kwh/year.)

Twenty years ago, design scientist Dr. Buckminster Fuller, known for the geodesic dome, "Spaceship Earth" and Buckyballs, studied global solutions for peace, population stabilization and sustainable development. His premier global strategy was the electrical interconnection of power networks around the world — in today's vernacular, a World Wide Web of Electricity.

Electrical interconnections have proven benefits. They can mean: lower bills for customers, as utilities buy cheaper power from neighboring companies and pass some of the savings onto the consumer; improved system reliability; offers better power quality protecting the circuitry of electronic equipment; by deferral of additional generation capacity, stockholder returns are enhanced; and the ability to tap the abundant renewable energy resources.

Power transmission is essential if we are going to utilize some of the world's bountiful renewable energy (solar, wind, hydro, geothermal, tidal, biomass) to meet the growing demand in India, China, Southeast Asia and other developing regions. By their nature, renewables are site specific, often in remote regions and neighboring countries. Long distance power transmission now enables us to tap this clean energy and move it wherever we want to work or live.

In some cases, this has become the cheaper option for utilities and fulfills the environmentalists' desire for cleaner energy. Recently, electrical linkages followed the trend toward peace between age-old enemies. East and West Germany linked systems after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Israel and Jordan after the Washington Declaration, and now Iran and Turkey are planning to connect power grids for their stated mutual benefits. Electrical interties are a physical connection between countries that can enhance international cooperation, trade and peace.

Numerous experts at the United Nations, World Bank and engineering institutions have since corroborated Fuller's vision — the linking of electrical systems as a compelling global strategy for peace and sustainable development. Even Al Gore, as Senator, stated that "a global energy network makes enormous sense if we are to meet global energy needs with a minimal impact on the world's environment."

The reasoned study from the National Academy on EMFs enables the beneficial effect of electricity to be promoted without the fear-mongering of the past. The two-billion people without electrical power deserve a chance for a better life. The First World can use transmission lines to shift to cleaner energy resources. Dr. Fuller's comprehensive design strategy is a vision that benefits everyone. Electric power transmission offers opportunities unforseen just a few years ago, and can be the cure for some of the world's most pressing problems.


Updated: 2016/06/30

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