A Northeast Asia grid is a step closer

In a move that is being seen as an important step towards establishing a framework for global energy interconnection, State Grid Corporation of China has announced plans to launch a Northeast Asia grid cooperation scheme in collaboration with three neighbouring countries.

China Daily reports that the State Grid has signed a memorandum of understanding with Japan-based SoftBank Corp., Russia’s grid operatorà‚ Rossetià‚ and Korea Electric Power Corporation of South Korea.

According to Liu Zhenya, chairman of the State Grid, the global cross-continent collaboration scheme will bring huge economic and social benefits when is completed by the end of 2050.

The four companies will collaborate on research and planning. They will conduct feasibility studies to install submarine power cables spanning a total of about 600km to connect China and South Korea; Japan and South Korea; and Japan and Russia.

The ambitious scheme is estimated to cost in the region of $50 trn.

Masayoshi Son, CEO of SoftBank Corp, is quoted in the article as saying: “The good news is that [the] countries involved under the Northeast Asia collaboration framework are well-prepared with sound technology bases to build electricity transmission systems across countries”.

SoftBank Corp reportedly proposed the establishment of an Asia Super Grid back in 2012.

However, Son cautioned that further collaboration could only be established when a clear and concrete scheme across countries is in place and geopolitics do not get in the way.

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