- Britain’s Johnson flags ‘Glasgow Breakthroughs’ on green technology
- India’s Modi says networks will provide critical solutions
- USA, UAE announces a sustainable agricultural plan
GLASGOW / BOSTON, November 2 (Reuters) – Britain and India on Tuesday unveiled a plan to improve connections between the world’s electricity grids to speed up the transition to greener energy.
Interconnecting the grids would allow parts of the world with excess renewable energy to send it to deficit areas. For example, countries where the sun has set can draw power from others who are still able to generate solar energy.
The “Green Grids Initiative” at the COP26 climate negotiations in Glasgow, Scotland, was backed by more than 80 countries and could set a model for how rich countries help the poorer reduce their emissions and achieve the goal of limiting global warming to 1 .5 degrees Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial norms.
“If the world is to move towards a clean and green future, these interconnected transnational networks will be critical solutions,” Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a statement.
U.S. independent energy expert Matthew Wald said the plan stressed how renewable energy sources need more transmission lines, as they often have to be built far from cities, as opposed to coal- or gas-fired plants whose fuel can be sent in.
But Wald said planners in various countries – including the former Soviet Union – have long dreamed of cheap transmission across time zones with limited progress. Although power supply technology has improved in recent years, Wald and others said the plan would require large sums.
“We are talking about transmission networks that will have to be underwater. They will have to cross mountain ranges. They will have to cross deserts,” said Kartikeya Singh, senior staff member at the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies,
The official announcement of the transnational network plan did not include cost figures or financing details. Modi and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson had previously outlined the plan. On Monday, Modi had said India would reach net zero CO2 emissions by 2070, two decades later than scientists say is necessary. Read more
Although seen as skeptical of efforts to curb climate change, Modi has attended the conference, while leaders of other major emitters, including China and Russia, are not attending in person. Read more
The network plan showed that Modi was willing to move the world’s second most populous nation away from fossil fuels as long as developed countries help, said Julie Gorte, senior vice president of sustainable investment at Impax Asset Management.
“Left to itself, India will build coal mines,” she said.
The plan is part of a broader effort to accelerate the spread of affordable low-carbon technology, which covers more than 70% of the global economy.
By announcing the first five targets in the plan, called the “Glasgow breakthroughs,” Johnson marked targets for pushing for clean power, zero-emission cars, near-zero-emission steels, low-carbon hydrogen and climate-resistant agriculture.
The United States and the United Arab Emirates, meanwhile, launched an initiative, with $ 4 billion in support, to help agriculture adapt to climate change. Read more
Reporting by William James and Simon Jessop in Glasgow, Scotland and Ross Kerber in Boston; further reporting by Jane Lanhee Lee in Oakland, California, editing by Barbara Lewis and Grant McCool
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