GENI believes that you deserve clearly written, well-organized, complete and
actionable answers to your questions. But writing these is harder than it looks.
People are always coming up with questions we haven't
anticipated or thought we'd answered. Send your question to: email@example.com
"Good questions outrank easy answers."
Nobel Laureate Paul Samuelson)
Index of Questions
a new Frequently Asked Question here:
your question to: firstname.lastname@example.org
is GENI? What is the GENI Initiative?
- Why do I need
to be concerned
about global energy problems?
is GENI doing this work? What are the reasons
that make this important for GENI?
- What is GENI going
to do if I help GENI?
- How do you explain the GENI
Initiative in 30 seconds?
do you predict will happen to our planet if we do not complete the global
- Why are you concerned with transporting
electricity? why not oil or gas or coal?
events do you think will have to take place, in the environment, in society,
etc., in order for international leaders to build an international electricity
- What world leaders
already support the GENI initiative? Who else has endorsed
- What are the impediments to building the
global electricity grid? If it's so good, how come we're not doing it?
has GENI already done?
- How is GENI funded? Who supports
GENI's work financially?
- What can someone do to help
GENI? How about my family? my friends? my community? my organization? my nation?
- Who will own/administer/control
the global electricity network?
- When will the grid be seriously
discussed by world leaders?
should a country put itself in a position where it's dependent
on another country for its power?
- How can we expect
countries to trust each other enough to become so dependent on one another?
the politics involved in establishing electrical connections across national boundaries
building the grid also mean a tax increase
for some countries?
- How will this affect trade between countries?
do we convince industry, particularly defence industries, to convert
to new technology? Can nations
at war use this project to convert some defense industries to civilian related
- Did Buckminster Fuller discover that there were other
ways to resolve global strife and increase sustainability? Why did he decide that
an international grid was the most practical/feasible of solutions?
global network is a nice intellectual idea, but the idea of running a cable from
Alaska/Canada through Russia, China, and North Korea to South Korea and Japan
is very amusing. That's like connecting Florida to Brazil via Cuba why
should we do this?
- Who is against this? What forces
are opposing this strategy?
- How technically feasible is the global electric grid? How do the costs
and benefits weigh out?
- Who are the winners and the losers
of this plan? How do you see this set up as a win/win solution?
it be too expensive to build a global electricity network?
much will the global electric grid cost?
will the money come from?
- Where's your cost/benefit analysis?
Tell me more about the GENI Computer Model (Simulation).
are the business risks?
- I'm an investor what would
be my ROI (return on investment)?
- Why spend the money when
we have plenty of coal and oil?
what happens to the electricity grid
during times of war? Transmission towers and power lines are very vulnerable.
If you destroy a transmission line, can
terrorists shut down a country?
- Is the global grid going
to do anything for the villages across the
planet that have no electricity?
- How will this affect
the economies of first-world nations? developing nations?
- Are big oil
companies a factor that is slowing
down the use of renewable energy?
- How can I convince
governments with enough coal to last for centuries to switch
to renewable resources?
- How can you convince a business
that is operating in the area of non-renewable energy (eg. making oil furnaces)
that it has to shift? How will we make the leap taking advantage of remote
renewable energy over fossil fuels?
- When do you
expect that fossil
fuel/nonrenewable production will decrease and green energy production increase?
does renewable energy cost so much?
- Is there enough non-hydro
renewable energy available?
/ Efficiency / Connectivity
- How do power
- What percent of the global electric
grid is already complete? What still needs to be built?
- If we started building the international grid today, when
would it be finished?
about building underwater - wouldn't you lose a lot of electricity - and wouldn't
it be very expensive?
- Won't you lose too much electricity
over these long distances for this idea to be cost-effective?
will the different parts of the world connect to the global grid if they have:
different voltages? different outlets and plugs?
- What are the environmental implications? Good and bad?
about the EMF issue?
- How will this reduce: acid rain? the
greenhouse effect? toxic wastes?
- If we didn't use so much, then a lot of other people on the planet could
raise their standard of living. Shouldn't we be conserving energy?
- How will this project reduce
- In many of the developing countries, women get little
education and have lots of children just so the family can survive. How will GENI
fix that problem? How will this project stabilize population growth?
the global energy grid bring global
- How do you propose that this global shift
in cooperation and consciousness will occur?
- How does rural
electrification work if all the people in the area can't
afford to pay for electricity?
was Bucky? Why was he important? Tell me some background
on R. Buckminster Fuller (Bucky)?
can you do?
GENI Web Site Volunteers / Interns:
- With your experience,
do you see anything that you would like to contribute/add to the the GENI site
that you think is missing?
(Why is it important? What community does it address? What need(s) will it fulfill?
What question(s) will it answer?) (How would you put this into the GENI site?
What software/hardware is required for this to work effectively for ordinary GENI
- Do you see anything on the GENI site
that you would like to upgrade
to make it available to more people (we are working to keep the GENI site available
to as many people as possible, and are designing to a browser standard of Netscape
4.7 at this time).
- Do you have any special
skills, expertise, contacts, assets, and/or interests that you feel would
contribute to accomplishing the GENI
- What tools (hardware/software) do you have
available that you can use to work on the GENI site?
those involved in Policy-Making
For a President or Prime Minister:
- What economic gain (or loss)
will we realize by interconnecting with our neighbor(s)?
- What if my
neighbor decides to cut the circuit? Will my power system go down?
linking electrical systems with my neighbor(s) have political benefits to me?
- How much can I trust my neighbor, i.e. what percentage of power can
we afford to lose?
- How much will it cost to get our Quality of Life
indicators to _____?
- Where will the money come from to finance these
- If we electrify the rural areas, can we expect
these people to stay there, or will they still migrate to the urban centers?
What industries may expand or contract due to this strategy?
- How will
this infrastructure plan affect regional stability: short and long term?
Who is going to be in charge of this transmission system? some new supra-national
agency in Washington or at the United Nations?
- What will be the short
and long term employment impacts? in each sector: construction, fossil fuel industry,
renewable industry, engineering, information industry, R & D
- Will my
national security interests be compromised? and what does my defense minister
say about this development strategy?
For an Energy Minister:
- What will be the comparable costs of power, generated internally or in a
- Will interconnecting with our neighbors increase/decrease
the reliability of my system?
- Where are my cheapest forms of power --
in my country? in the region?
- What is the renewable energy potential
within my country?
- How much future demand can be reduced by increasing
our energy efficiency?
- How will I best allocate my financial resources
in the short term, long term?
- Plus many of the same questions asked
by a President or Prime Minister
People and Organizations involved in:
- What is the renewable energy potential of each region of the world?
Will renewables increase/decrease in market share as grids expand?
energy efficiency (ie. Conservation or Demand Side Management) meet the needs
of our growing local, national and regional population?
- What's the optimal
sustainable energy strategy (mix of generation sources) that will meet the Rio
- Which will be a cheaper strategy: linking grids or independent energy systems:
short term and long term?
- How can you predict Quality of Life improvements
based solely on Kwh/capita?
- How do Quality of Life indicators differ
in neighboring regions and nations?
- Who will pay for this energy development,
and won't it take money away from more essential village-based projects?
Isn't this development model just following in the footsteps of the developed
nations, with all the problems that will ensue?
- Is there some break
point where it is cheaper to install freestanding generation systems over linking
this village into the grid?
- How do we prioritize our development problems?
Have we determined a necessary budget to solve the issues?
- Won't an increase
in the living standard actually worsen the population pressures in a developing
nation: short term, long term?
- How long before my country could expect
to see a decline in birth rates.
- Won't "population momentum" push global
population to 8.3 billion no matter what we do?
- How does the energy
grid strategy fit into Paul Erlich's equation:
- Population + Technology
+ Affluence = Environmental Impact
- Can you give any examples
where international linkages have forwarded the peace between nations? And for
- What if some terrorist decides to cut the circuit along an
international border? What will be the consequences militarily, politically, and
- If we can't even fully fund UN Peacekeeping operations,
how can we expect to fund mega-projects like power grids and generation projects?
- Who would own the transmission system, and do we want another large
- What treaties and agreements need to be signed to build
these international projects?
Business and Trade Groups in the:
Fossil fuel industry:
- What affect will trans-national interconnections have on domestic and imported
coal, oil and gas?
- What percentage of new capacity will be met by coal,
oil and gas?
- At what point do you expect renewables to be cost competitive
with fossil fuels?
- What impact will th expanding grid network have on
the transportation industry? (especially autos, trucks and trains)
- Where are the
best renewable sites on the planet?
- How far are these renewable sites
from load centers?
- Isn't renewable development best suited for off-grid,
- How will renewables compete in a market that doesn't
take externalities into account?
- How do we feed intermittent renewables
into a utility grid accustomed to steady power flow?
- Since many of these
large grid systems are near water, could they play a role in electrolysing water
for hydrogen (as a transport fuel)?
- Where are the missing
links in the global energy system?
- How can we benefit from this development
strategy? or do we lose?
- What are the optimal voltage levels for specific
- Given political realities, how do we design the system so
that each country maintains it's necessary security requirements?
amount of metal will be required if this system were to proceed?
is the cost per kilometer of these transmission systems?
- Do you have
examples of successful interconnection projects?
- What rate of return
can we expect from this particular project?
- Why aren't the UNDP and/or
the World Bank building and financing these projects?
Suggest a new
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