On January 8-9, the Climate Parliament and Wilton Park co-organised a parliamentary roundtable on "Energy futures: Green grids, electric cooking and
the global energy transition." This event took place in Abu Dhabi before the Legislators Forum and the Annual Assembly of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). It was made possible by The Applied Research Programme on Energy and Economic Growth (EEG) and the Modern Energy Cooking Services (MECS) Programme, and funded by the the UK Department for International Development (DFID).
Discussions focused on responses to climate change, and in particular the construction of cross-border grids to enable countries to trade renewable energy within their own regions, and on the potential for clean cooking with electricity from solar minigrids.
One major theme of the meeting was to examine the potential for two key transmission routes within Africa: a clean energy corridor running down the eastern side of Africa from Ethiopia to South Africa and grids linking the nations along the West African coast. Discussions focused on regional grids within South Asia, a clean energy corridor linking South and Southeast Asia, and undersea transmission lines connecting South Asia and the Arabian peninsula.
These interconnections could link together the vast resources of solar, wind, geothermal and hydropower which are to be found along the abovementioned routes, thus creating a reliable supply of affordable renewable energy for all across large areas of Africa and Asia.