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The Forum on Energy Interconnection & “Belt and Road” Development in Arab States was held in Beijing

On June 28, 2018, the Forum on Energy Interconnection & “Belt and Road” Development in Arab States was held in Beijing, China. The Forum is jointly organized by the Global Energy Interconnection Development and Cooperation Organization (GEIDCO) and the League of Arab States (LAS).

The forum proposes to the governments, organizations, energy and power enterprises, financial institutions, research institutions and other communities in China, Arab states and across the world to stand together to jointly promote the development of clean energy and construction of energy interconnection in Arab states

The forum is held before the eighth ministerial meeting of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum (CASCF). The forum will help promote China-Arab States cooperation, boost the sustainable development in Arab states and advance Belt and Road development and a community of shared future for mankind.

Li Chengwen, China-Arab States Cooperation Forum Ambassador, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China,Kamal Hassan Ali, Under Secretary General & Head of Economic Affairs, League of Arab States and Liu Zhenya, Chairman of GEIDCO and China Electricity Council make opening address in the forum. More than 60 organizations and more than 100 delegates from ministry of foreign affairs, China Development and Reform Commission, Ministry of Civil Affairs, Ministry of Commerce, Ministry of Ecology and Environment, LAS, United Nations Economics & Social Commission for West Asia(UNESCW). Regional Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency(RCREEE), and embassies from Algeria,United Arab Emirates,Tunisia,Kuwait,Libya,Morocco and Sudan attend the forum. The Forum has in-depth discussions about “Belt and Road” construction, clean energy development in Arab states, with broad consensus reached.

On September 26th, 2015, Chinese President Xi Jinping proposed discussions on establishing Global Energy Interconnection (or GEI), to facilitate efforts to meet global power demand with clean and green alternatives at the UN Sustainable Development Summit. This proposal is widely recognized and supported by international community. Two years after the launch of this proposal, a lot of progress and breakthroughs are made in global energy interconnection. GEI is included in “one belt one road “ initiative and United Nations 2030 Agenda, and 2018 CEM (Clean Energy Ministerial) meeting. GEI has entered a new stage of common action.

Mr Liu Zhenya points out that there is an urgent need in Arab States for promoting energy transition. Constructing energy interconnection in Arab states can help boost energy transition and economic development and build a new pattern of energy security. The infrastructure connectivity will promote policy coordination, unimpeded trade, finance integration, people to people exchanges, as a result, further boost the regional integration and promote “Belt and Road” development and a community of shared future for mankind in Arab states, and create tremendous benefits for the region.
Liu Zhenya says, GEI is at the beginning stage of development and have huge potential and opportunities. Arab states have already achieved some cross-border energy interconnection, and there is a huge demand of energy in neighboring Europe and south Asia. Promoting energy interconnection has huge potential. The guideline for building energy interconnection in Arab is paying equal emphasis on domestic balance and electricity trading with neighbouring country and region; boosting solar and wind generation within the region, strengthening the interconnection within nations, advancing transnational and transcontinental grid connection, and creating major grid connection corridors from Arab states to Europe, to south Sahara Africa, and to South Asia, so as to achieve a new pattern of close interconnection within the region, efficient cross-regional allocation, and diversified energy sources to complement each other. The priority is to advance the construction of large-scale clean energy bases to create a “treasure house” for global clean energy development. And also to strengthen the power grid construction and interconnection to facilitate the development of transmission corridors to east Africa, south Asia, and Europe. Another priority is regulation, policy and cooperation mechanism to enable various parties to cooperate and participate in energy interconnection in Arab States.
The forum features keynote speeches and panel discussions. Guests from international organizations, energy enterprises, embassies give keynote speech about the “Clean energy development and energy interconnection in the context of energy transformation”. To create a solution for the energy transformation of Arab states and achieve sustainable development, guests from business, research, finance and academic sectors have extensive discussion on the topic “technology, policy and cooperation”. Their discussion contributes to further advancement of policy, technology innovation and global energy interconnection.
The forum releases the proposal on “Promoting Clean Energy Development and Energy Interconnection in Arab States”. In this proposal, Arab states pay high attention to actively push the low carbon transformation of energy, develop the clean energy and promote the energy interconnection within the Arab countries. This is of key importance for dealing with climate change and environmental pollution. Building transnational and transcontinental interconnected power grids, and promoting the connection of “Belt and Road” infrastructure, can help achieving large-scale development, extensive allocation and efficient use of clean energy in Arab states; help boost energy transformation and sustainable economic development among countries, accelerate the regional energy and economic integration process; and promote the implementation of the 2014-2024 Action Plan of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum (CASCF), and the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The forum calls on China, Arab nations, governments around the world, organizations, energy enterprises, financial institutions, and research institutions to stand together to promote energy interconnection within Arab states and advance the clean energy development and grid interconnection.

During the forum, GEIDCO signed agreement with LAS and Regional Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency. According to the agreement, GEIDCO and LAS will host global energy interconnection training session in Cairo, in October this year. Experts and senior engineers in energy industry from China, Europe, and Arab nations will give training to technology personnel of energy departments and energy companies from LAS nations. GEIDCO and Regional Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency will cooperate on low carbon transformation, renewable energy development and energy interconnection to advance strategy research.
Representative from GEIDCO presents the research on the outlook of energy transformation and development of energy interconnection in Arab states. According to GEIDCO, based on energy resources allocation, there will be seven large scale solar energy bases in North Africa with capacity 1.1 billion kw, and 10 large scale solar energy bases in western west Asia with capacity 2.1 billion kw. GEIDCO presents 13 key interconnection projects aimed at enabling clean energy integration across continents.
The eighth ministerial meeting of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum (CASCF) will be held July 10th in Beijing. This meeting will further strengthen the friendship between China and Arab countries, promote “One Belt One Road” and a community of shared future for mankind. This meeting will further discuss how to further enhance the mechanism of CASCF, and other key international and regional issues.