China’s giant transmission grid could be the key to cutting climate emissions – MIT Technology Review

Looks like the Chinese are quietly getting on with pushing technology advancement whilst the US remains introverted and fixated on Trump and his chaotic management.

“The workers were erecting a critical component of the world’s first 1.1-million volt transmission line, at a time when US companies are struggling to build anything above 500,000 volts. Once the government-owned utility, State Grid of China, completes the project next year, the line will stretch from the Xinjiang region in the northwest to Anhui in the east, connecting power plants deep in the interior of the country to cities near the coast.

These massive networks could help slash climate emissions by enabling fluctuating renewable sources like wind and solar to generate a far larger share of the electricity used by these countries.

A long-distance interconnected transmission grid is a big piece of the climate puzzle,” says Steven Chu, the former US energy secretary, who serves as vice chairman of the nonprofit that State Grid launched in 2016 to promote international grid connections. “China is saying ‘We want to be leaders in all these future technologies’ instead of looking in the rear-view mirror like the United States seems to be doing at the moment.”

But facilitating the greater use of renewables clearly isn’t China’s only, or even primary, motivation. Transmission infrastructure is a strategic piece of the Belt and Road Initiative, China’s multitrillion-dollar effort to build development projects and trade relationships across dozens of nations. Stretching its ultra-high-voltage wires around the world promises to extend the nation’s swelling economic, technological, and political power.”

Source: China’s giant transmission grid could be the key to cutting climate emissions – MIT Technology Review

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