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Energy is intimately related to all aspects of human sustainable development. At present, the world faces a series of major challenges, including resource shortages, climate change, environmental pollution, and energy poverty, which stem from human’s heavy reliance on and excessive consumption of fossil energy. Dealing with these challenges is an important and urgent task to achieving sustainable development for humanity. In essence, the core of sustainable development is clean development of which the key is to promote Clean Replacement on the energy production side, and Electricity Replacement on the energy consumption side. Clean Replacement is to use clean alternatives in energy production, replacing fossil fuels with hydro, solar, and wind energy. Electricity Replacement is to promote electricity replacement in energy consumption, replacing coal, oil, natural gas and firewood with electricity. The Global Energy Interconnection (GEI) is a modern energy system which is clean energy-dominated, electricity-centered, interconnected and shared. It is an important platform for large-scale development, transmission and utilization of clean energy resources at a global level, promoting the global energy transition characterized by cleaning, decarbonization, electrification and networking. The GEI will be able to fully implement Agenda 2030 as well as the Paris Agreement, guarantee clean, reliable and affordable modern energy for all, and realize comprehensive and coordinated development of the economy, society and ecological environment.

In order to promote the development of the GEI, the Global Energy Interconnection Development and Cooperation Organization (GEIDCO) has undertaken systematic researches on energy interconnection schemes at world, continent, key region and country levels since 2016. The researches have included extensive and comprehensive analysis of data and information of the global economy, society, energy, power, climate and environment, with reference from relevant strategic development plans and policies of various governments, as well as research findings from international organizations, research institutions and enterprises, according to which, advanced models, methods and tools have been applied to conduct study and outlook on the visions, paths, and key issues related to the development of the GEI. A series of research results on the GEI and Energy Interconnection of all continents have been achieved. For the first time, systematic and innovative solutions and top-level designs for global energy and power transition and clean and low-carbon development have been proposed within these research series. They have filled in the gaps within the global energy and power research field and could provide strategic guidelines for the GEI development and Energy Interconnection of all continents, key regions and countries, thus make critical contribution to accelerating green energy transition, addressing climate change and realizing sustainable human development.

This report is one of the GEI research series, which focuses on the global vision. Based on an in-depth analysis of the development of energy interconnection on each continent, this report proposes a systematic planning to build the GEI Backbone Grid. The research is divided into eight chapters. In Chapter 1, the overall situation of the global economy, society, resources, environment, energy and power development are introduced, and challenges for global sustainable development are analyzed. In Chapter 2, the development concepts of the GEI are analyzed. In Chapter 3, with the aim of achieving 2°C temperature control target, the development trend of energy and power transition is envisioned, and a corresponding scenario is designed. In Chapter 4, the distribution of clean energy resources and layout of major power generation bases are studied. In Chapter 5, based on power balance analysis, the GEI backbone grid plan is proposed. In Chapter 6, the comprehensive benefits brought about by building GEI are assessed. In Chapter 7, the key technologies for the development of GEI are introduced. In Chapter 8, the clean energy and power development path with the global scenario to achieve the 1.5°C temperature control target are proposed.

This report could provide guidelines for governments, international organizations, energy enterprises, financial institutes, universities and relevant individuals in policy making, strategic research, technological innovation, project development, international cooperation, etc. However, there might be inadequacies as data and time for research and compilation are limited. Comments and suggestions are welcome for further improvements.