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The Global Energy Prize annually honors outstanding achievements in energy research and technology from around the world that are helping address the world’s various and pressing energy challenges.

Super grids development driver are political will intensive invesment

Specialists in energetics from all over the world are looking for ways to transmit energy over long distances and integrate energy systems in different regions. ‘Projects of the ‘super grids’ can provide a solution to this problem,’ considers Rae Kwon Chung, the Global Energy Prize International Award Committee Chairman; UN Secretary-General’s High-level Expert and Leaders Panel (HELP) on water and disasters, Adviser to the Chair. Member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), awarded with the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007.

According to the expert, the current climate crisis should stimulate the world community to participate in interstate energy programs with a focus on solving the problems of several states. Such large-scale projects can be realized thanks to ‘super grids’ – high-voltage direct current lines, allowing the HVDC to transfer electricity to a distance of up to 6,000 kilometers with minimal losses and without harming the environment. ‘Super grids’ provide an opportunity for countries to establish connectivity between their national energy systems, increase the reliability of energy supplies and strengthen regional integration.

Both sides will benefit from such projects: RES exporting countries will profit from energy sales, and will also be able to improve the economic and social conditions thanks to new jobs. Importing countries, in turn, will be able to reduce their carbon-intensive enterprises and improve the overall environmental situation. For example, today China suffers from serious climate problems caused by burning fossil fuels. If a country gains access to clean energy from Mongolia or Kazakhstan, it can significantly reduce coal consumption.The ‘super grids’ project will also reduce the peak load of power plants and transmit excess of energy from one region to another. However, there are a number of challenges that prevent their widespread use, among which Rae Kwon Chung particularly emphasizes political barriers and lack of investment. Subsidies and other government incentive measures can create the conditions for the development of environmentally friendly markets. And the activity of private investors can push governments to conclude international agreements.

It should be noted that Rae Kwon Chung is also the Green Growth concept author, which implies the achievement of countries economic development and the creation of new jobs while combating with climate change. On his view, humanity faces three global crises: energy, environmental and economic. "The burning of hydrocarbons can no longer serve as a guarantee of economic growth – we need a new economic paradigm, such as the paradigm of the three "e". Its essence is a close intertwining of economy, ecology and energy. Pure renewable energy will stimulate energy growth without damaging the environment,"- the expert concluded.

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