Energy connectivity can facilitate overall regional economic cooperation and integration. It can realise mutual socio-economic and environmental benefits and also contribute to the achievement of the SDG7 targets for the countries in Asia and the Pacific. Regional integration of power grids is a long process and has to be built up over stages.
Our Work promotes energy connectivity and regional cooperation by providing a platform for dialogues, and hosting workshops and expert group meetings designed to delineate and address the principal barriers to energy connectivity from national, subregional, and regional perspectives.
Summary and background information
ESCAP is promoting energy connectivity through regional cooperation. The regional road map on power system connectivity, entitled “Promoting cross-border electricity connectivity for sustainable development”, is intended to provide an agreed reference framework for regional cooperation towards achieving power grid integration over the period 2020 to 2035.
Importance of Energy Connectivity
- Expansion of sustainable energy solutions: There are often greater choices for renewables beyond country borders. In addition, power system interconnection helps address the problems experiences when incorporating larger shares of variable renewable energy resources such as solar and wind. For example, the single electricity market of one country has been able to introduce wind power as a major source of energy in part due to interconnection of the country’s grid with other countries. With greater interconnection, the region can use the large solar and wind potential that exists in many countries.
- Economies of scale and scope: The European Union and some other regions have integrated their power networks, which augments national supplies and allows significant energy system cost savings due to economies of scale and scope. Major savings occur due to capacity cost savings for additional generation capacity through complementary demand profiling across countries, improved load factors, increased load mix, and coordinated maintenance schedules.
- SDG7: Cross-border power connectivity also contributes to the Sustainable Development Goal 7. Especially for countries that have low access rates, regional energy connectivity will increase reliable power supply and present multiple opportunities for continued economic growth. It also provides an opportunity to increase the share of renewable energy in the generation mix by broadening the geographical area for power trade. It is potentially a vehicle to address some of the social development issues such as ensuring electricity access to all households and individuals.
See reports on energy connectivity: Electricity Connectivity Roadmap for Asia and the Pacific: Strategies towards interconnecting the region’s grids