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Chairman Liu Zhenya Met with Norway’s Prime Minister Erna Solberg And Delivered Keynote Speech at Oslo High-level Forum

Mr. Liu Zhenya, Chairman of Global Energy Interconnection Development and Cooperation Organization (GEIDCO) and Chairman of China Electricity Council (CEC), met Norway’s Prime Minister Erna Solberg on November 15 at the Oslo City Hall in Norway. During the meeting, the two sides exchanged views on how global energy interconnection (GEI) can advance the realization of the UN Sustainable Agenda 2030. Afterwards, they jointly attended the Oslo high-level forum and delivered keynote speeches.

 

 

The forum attracted over 500 prominent leaders and guests from political, economic and social communities around the world and offered a platform for the exchange of ideas and experiences, resources sharing, and discussions on issues concerning humankind development. The forum also identified business values and opportunities to facilitate the building of a better, more harmonious and prosperous human society.
In his keynote speech titled “Accelerate the GEI Initiative and Usher in a New Era for Sustainable Development of Humankind”, Mr. Liu introduced Chinese President Xi Jinping’s proposal made at the UN Sustainable Development Summit on September 26, 2015 on “discussions of establishing a global energy network to facilitate efforts to meet the global power demand with clean and green alternatives”, expounded the notion of global energy interconnection, shared China’s experiences and achievements in pursuing this goal and put forward the vision of building a Northern Europe and Europe-wide energy network. 
According to Liu, the GEI is a major strategy whose agenda is driven by the success of UHV grids. It encompasses a modern energy system that is dominated by clean energy, centers on electricity and features connectivity, joint contribution and benefit sharing. It is, in essence, a combination of smart grids, UHV grids and clean energy and will serve as an important platform for developing, transmitting and using clean energy at a large scale globally. The GEI initiative is aligned with the industry’s development trend of clean energy, electrification, interconnection, high efficiency and globalization. With all the necessary conditions in place, the initiative is bound to have a bright future. With sustainable development of humankind as its core mission, the GEI initiative will play a pivotal role in addressing global energy, economic, societal, and environmental challenges. It’s also of great significance to implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement, advancing the “One Belt One Road Initiative” and creating a community of shared future for mankind. 
Mr. Liu Zhenya said that the Chinese government is highly committed to the GEI initiative. Active efforts have been made to tackle climate change and promote the sustainable development of the world. Over the past decade, the State Grid Corporation of China has been vigorously developing UHV power grids and achieved breakthroughs in theories, technologies, equipment manufacturing and standards. It has also built the world’s largest UHVAC/UHVDC hybrid power grid, paving the way for a global energy network. Driven by the success of UHV power grid, the installed capacity of China’s hydro power, wind power and solar power has reached 340GW, 160GW, and 110GW respectively, all ranking the first in the world. This not only greatly contributed to China’s clean development and energy transition, but also set an exemplary model for other countries to follow.
Mr. Liu Zhenya pointed out that Europe would face major challenges such as high cost, occupation of excess lands and great safety risk if solely relying on themselves to achieve clean development. Building an energy interconnection is the inevitable path for Europe’s energy transition. To ensure secure supply and a high proportion of clean alternatives in the power mix requires both proprietary and imported power, which can be secured through enhanced cross-border and inter-continental power trade. The overall route is to build a backbone power grid infrastructure to harness the clean energy inside Europe, supplement the supply by channeling in clean power from “the North Pole and the Equator” and surrounding areas, and advance the connectivity of European, Asian and African power grids to better allocate clean energy in a wider region.
Mr. Liu Zhenya stated that Northern Europe connects the North Pole and the European continent, and is endowed with rich hydro and wind power resources. Therefore, it is pivotal to Europe’s clean energy development program. Leveraging its rich clean energy resources, the North Europe could reduce fossil fuel consumption, speed up energy transition and achieve the carbon reduction targets set in the Paris Agreement. The Nordic energy interconnection will have profound impacts for the energy interconnection across the whole Europe and even the whole world. Therefore, it’s critical to build the Nordic backbone power grid infrastructure and inter-connect power grids across borders to support large scale development of clean energy in North Europe and the North Pole and create an energy structure that features “North to South Power Transmission, Complementary Mixture of Hydro and Wind Power, and Cross-border Supply”.
PM Erna Solberg remarked in her keynote speech that, changing the world by making it a better place is a common aspiration for everyone. The Paris Agreement must be adhered to. The business community must shoulder their responsibility and move towards low-carbon and emission-reduction development. She called on political decision makers and entrepreneurs to join hands in make our cities, countries and the whole world a greener, more innovative and smarter place. During their bilateral meeting, she said to Mr. Liu Zhenya that “Norway advocates and works for global sustainable development and looks forward to more collaboration with GEIDCO”. She also received two books as gifts from Mr. Liu, which are Global Energy Internet and Ultra High Voltage AC&DC Grid.
Climate Change is an important topic and one of the focuses of this forum. Participants all agree that tackling climate change has a bearing on the sustainable development of humankind. The GEI initiative provides a systematic and fundamental solution for global clean development and energy transition, blazes a new trail for coping with climate change, and creates a new opportunity for the sustainable development of humankind. Northern Europe is well positioned to build an interconnected power grid and willing to develop clean energy. Efforts should be made to strengthen international partnership and speed up the building of cross-border and interconnected power grid, so as to set an example for others in pursuing the GEI initiative.
During the trip, Mr. Liu and the delegation also held talks with government officials, heads of power companies and research institutes of Finland and Norway. At the meetings, Mr. Liu introduced the GEI initiative and GEIDCO, expounded the strategic connotations of GEI, its feasibility and comprehensive benefits, and had in-depth exchanges of views with many parties on matters such as speeding up the construction of energy interconnection in Nordic countries and Europe as a whole, scaling up the development of clean energy and sustainable development. All parties agreed with the GEI initiative and pledged to work with GEIDCO to build the Nordic and European energy interconnection. Mika Lintilä, Minister of Economic Affairs of Finland, said that ramping up interconnected power grid construction is crucial for ensuring the power supply for Finland, achieving 50% of clean alternatives in the energy mix by 2030 and realizing the international carbon emission reduction targets. Jukka Ruusunen, President of Fingrid, said that constructing a GEI is a grand undertaking with a global vision that is fully consistent with Fingrid’s philosophy. Fingrid stands ready to promote the idea and collaborate with GEIDCO in Europe. Antti Vasara, President & CEO of VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd., said that the GEI initiative is of historical significance for humankind in combating climate change and achieving sustainable development. Its meaning goes far beyond the power grid infrastructure interconnection itself. VTT is willing to support and engage in the research and development of GEI. Steinar Bysveen, the Executive Vice President of Statkraft, said that the UHV technology can connect the power grids of different nations and help create a global power market, which will facilitate the large-scale harnessing of renewable energy and the realization of sustainable development.
The GEI initiative has been incorporated into the framework of UN Sustainable Agenda 2030. the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs and GEIDCO held a high-level symposium on November 1 at the UN headquarters in New York, and released the “Global Energy Interconnection Action Plan for Promoting the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”. Fully corresponding with the 17 targets set in the 2030 Agenda, the plan outlined 10 action items and 5 mechanisms in an attempt to provide a globally applicable solution for sustainable development. UN Secretary General António Guterres observed that the GEI initiative lies at the core of realizing sustainable development and coping with climate change. It is the key to achieving sustainable development and inclusive growth around the world, and also pivotal to the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement. The United Nations will guide all governments to participate and contribute to the initiative.