On June 18, the 2021 World Industrial and Energy Internet Expo (WIEIE) and International Industrial Equipment Exhibition kicked off in Changzhou, east China's Jiangsu Province, where Professor Liu Zhenya attended the opening ceremony and delivered a keynote speech. He emphasized the importance of expediting energy interconnection and facilitating energy, transportation, and information networks (ETI) integration to create new engines for high-quality economic and social development. Professor Liu Zhenya is Chairman of Global Energy Interconnection Development and Cooperation Organization (GEIDCO), Foreign Member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (IVA), International Fellow of the UK Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng), and Member of the German Academy of Science and Engineering (Acatech).
Professor Liu Zhenya pointed out that clean development lies in the core of achieving sustainable development and addressing major challenges confronting the world today such as climate change, environmental pollution, resource scarcity, poverty and disease. In this process, we need to facilitate energy transition and de-carbonize all the sectors. Global Energy Interconnection (GEI) is a necessary pathway to achieve clean development and enable sustainable human development. As the key in GEI establishment, UHV technology enables optimal allocation of clean energy on a global scale through power transmission over thousands of kilometers at the 10GW level and cross-border and intercontinental grid interconnection. Also essential are actions to tap the potential of the difference between countries and continents in resources, time zones, seasons and tariffs to achieve mutual support, extensive resource sharing and efficient use of clean energy.
According to Professor Liu Zhenya, UHV technology is an original and world-leading innovation of China with far-reaching significance. China aims to take the advantage of its UHV technology and pace up energy interconnection with a UHV backbone grid in the country. This move will promote large-scale development and use of solar, wind and hydro energy to ensure energy security, as well as clean and efficient supply. Synergy will be fostered across the whole chain of production, allocation and consumption to gear up an in-depth and all-round replacement of coal, oil and gas and to speed up the carbon emission reduction in the whole society. Energy transmission will power industrial transformation and upgrading to improve the quality and efficiency of economic development. By developing its own energy interconnection, China will open up a fast, low-cost, and highly efficient path of energy transition and carbon emission reduction. It also plays a key role in breaking the energy security dilemma in China, which will help to achieve the goal of carbon emissions peak and carbon neutrality, and boost high-quality economic development. In recent years, Jiangsu has taken actions to encourage clean energy development and inter-provincial and cross-regional grid connection. Despite the remarkable results, the province is facing the arduous task of carbon emissions peak and carbon neutrality as the energy and power sector is still characterized by large share of coal-fired power, huge electricity demand and great carbon emissions. In pursuing energy interconnection, Jiangsu needs to focus on three priorities of expediting the comprehensive transition from coal-fired power, increasing the proportion of electricity delivered from outside the province, and facilitating the development of clean energy. Such efforts will support Jiangsu to take the lead and contribute to achieving carbon emissions peak and carbon neutrality.
Liu Zhenya stressed that, in light of GEI research practice, GEIDCO has proposed ETI Integration, a new path of promoting high-quality economic development. It integrates energy networks, transportation networks, and information networks (ETI networks) to transit from the relatively independent development of each individual network to an integrated, shared and coordinated system of combined networks. As the fruit of technological progress, ETI Integration represents a new trend in infrastructure development with cutting-edge and interdisciplinary breakthroughs and innovations in the fields of energy, information and transportation. ETI Integration is also essential for high-quality development. As China enters the new development stage, it is necessary to upgrade the quality and efficiency of infrastructure through the integration of different fields to create greater value for the economy and society. ETI Integration will not only enable Jiangsu and Changzhou to create an upgraded version of infrastructure, bringing new opportunities for industrial upgrading but also inject new momentum for China’s high-quality economic development.
With the theme of creating new highlands for low-carbon manufacturing to open up a new path for industrial development, the expo provides a platform for participants to have in-depth exchanges on major issues such as clean development, energy interconnection, industrial networks. It is of great significance in promoting energy transition, achieving carbon emissions peak and carbon neutrality, and accelerating high-quality development.