In Brief
The company that is tasked with running China's power grid just proposed a $50 trillion global electricity network to help us tackle pollution and climate change.

Chinese Megaproject

It seems that China likes building big things. Take the Great Wall of China. The country has been constructing bigger (and sometimes better) things than the rest of the world for centuries.

Now, the Chinese are at it again, but this time it’s on a global scale. China wants to build a $50+ trillion power grid. For the entire world. And they want to have it in operation by 2050Talk about ambitious.

The new vision of a world power grid, the Global Energy Interconnection (GEI), was outlined in a speech by the Chairman of the State Grid Corporation of China.

Schematic of the State Grip Corporation of China’s future plans.

A Harmonious Global Village

Built on a backbone of a global ultra high voltage (UHV) grid, the project not only envisions global power connectivity, but global power generation. The grid will connect proposed wind farms in the North Pole, and solar farms built at the equator that transcend national boundaries. It’s exactly what’s needed if such renewable energy sources as wind and energy, which could potentially shoulder the vast majority of the world’s energy generation, will ever become a viable alternative.

The global grid will also curb international disputes and narrow regional gaps. Such a project might foster a larger sense of global unity among nations, since power generation and distribution would become a transnational, worldwide undertaking.

The proposed $50 trillion, when funneled to the development of newly emerging strategic industries, renewable energy, new materials and electric vehicles, will create the needed tech to address power needs in the foreseeable future.

But most importantly, the GEI project focuses on and will benefit the renewable energy sector the most. If renewable energy generation grows at an annual rate of 12.4% throughout the world, then by 2050 renewable energy should increase to 80% of total consumption, realizing the dream of abundant clean energy and completely superseding fossil fuels.

The roadmap for the GEI project has three general phases. From now to 2020, we need to promote clean energy development, domestic grid interconnection and smart grid construction in various countries. By 2030, large energy bases will be established and grids will be interconnected among countries within the various continents. By 2050, we need to accelerate the development of the aforementioned polar and the equatorial energy bases, concentrating the new energy generation technologies in those areas most favored by nature to produce the requisite output.