In late March, a memorandum of joint promotion of an interconnected power grid for the North-East Asia was signed in Beijing. Potentially, the amount of power flowing between national grids in the new interconnected system may exceed 15 GW. The Chief Adviser to the Head of the Analytical Center Leonid Grigoriev believes that Russia would benefit from the creation of such an international grid.
Russia has excess power generation capacity to be exported
China is the only country in the world where 66% of consumed electric power is generated by coal-fired power plants, and their goal for the next ten years is to reduce that to 55%. “The thing is they do not need to produce all the energy they need domestically. They can import it from across the border. If an international grid like that is created, we could use our hydroelectric power plants to supply electricity to Korea, Japan and China,” Mr. Grigoriev said in the Energy Sector show on Russia-24. “In other words, the benefits for us would be quite obvious. We could sell them our electricity because we have got excess capacity anyway. We could make more money that way than by selling them natural gas.” Electricity can also replace the coal that is currently being exported to China in fairly large numbers, the expert explained.
In recent years, South Korea has been telling us they would not mind buying our electricity either, but so far the problem has been largely geopolitical, and power transmission lines to South Korea would have to cross the territory of North Korea, and it was only recently that North Korea gave permission for that. “It could be very important for South Korea: they have got enough nuclear power plants that need to be balanced out during fluctuations, and that is done with hydroelectric or NG generation,” Mr. Grigoriev believes.
Photo from open sources