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Desertec and Japanese foundation cooperate on Asian supergrid

The Desertec Foundation and the Japan Renewable Energy Foundation (JREF) have entered a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to promote an Asian supergrid necessary for the expansion of renewable energy in Asia.

By Kari Williamson

The aim of the MoU is to accelerate the deployment of renewable energy, and the two foundations will exchange knowledge and know-how, and coordinate their work together to develop suitable framework conditions for the deployment of renewables and to establish transnational cooperation on a supergrid in Greater East Asia.

The vision is an interconnection of the national grids of Japan, Korea, China, Mongolia, and Russia with high voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission lines.

The Desertec Foundation says it sees this supergrid as an important step towards the implementation of its Desertec Concept in Greater East Asia and has already conducted a feasibility study on potential grid corridors to make best use of the region’s desert sun.

Dr Thiemo Gropp, Director of the Desertec Foundation, states: “The efficient use of the practically inexhaustible energy of the East Asian desert sun in combination with the expansion of renewable energies can sustainably improve living conditions for current and future generations in the region. It also offers Asian countries the chance to take a leading role in the fight against climate change by harnessing the most abundant of all energy sources on earth.”

Tomas Kåberger, JREF Executive Board Chair, adds: “Technologies to harness solar and wind energy have improved dramatically in the last few years. Combined with modern power transmission technologies, renewable energy can support the long-term economic prosperity of the region. Establishing an Asian Super Grid will be challenging and require a high-level of international collaboration but its benefits make it worth the effort. We are happy to be able to benefit from the experience of Desertec in this undertaking.”

JREF was founded in the wake of the Fukushima Nuclear Accident to prevent any further such events happening again. Its mission is to efficiently accelerate deployment of renewable energy in order to reduce costs and boost Japan’s economic development.

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