The International Solar Alliance wants to connect the whole world
Future. Utopian-minded organizations and legislators are dreaming up the idea of connecting the world via a shared global, renewable power grid. Although several preliminary projects are already breaking ground, Western nations may bristle at the idea of sharing power from nations that they have a less-than-great relationship with — no one wants another OPEC.
What if the whole world shared one long extension cord?
- The International Solar Alliance wants to connect the whole world via a global, green power grid.
- It’s starting with a solar-powered electricity network from northwest India to Oman — a mere 600 miles.
- It then wants to work with governments to connect existing cross-national grids in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa — a move that would provide power across “10 time zones.”
- It hopes to succeed in connecting the whole world by 2050.
An interconnected, global power grid could ferry renewable electricity from areas where the power could be made abundantly (like a major solar farm in the middle of Mongolia) to high-density power users like Singapore (where there is little room to build solar farms) or ship energy to places rocked by inclement weather.
This isn’t the first time a cross-continental power grid has been attempted, but very few have really made it past the pitch stage. But it’s not for lack of support.
- Climate Parliament, a U.K.-backed consortium of legislators, received the endorsement of 90 countries, the World Bank, and French electricity supplier Electricité de France SA for the Green Grids Initiative-One Sun One World One Grid to ultimately connect 120 countries.
- Also, two undersea power line projects are in the development stage to ship electricity between the U.K. and Morocco and between Australia and Singapore.
While many power grids in Southeast Asia, the Gulf nations, and the Middle East are already connected, the war between Ukraine and Russia may demonstrate what happens when one country decides not to follow established international relations… so a world connected by cross-cultural energy sharing may be on hold right now.