One Sun One World One Grid (GGI-OSOWOG)

Mentioned in the ancient text, in the Suryopanishad, that everything is created from the Sun, the source of all energy is the Sun and it is the energy from the Sun which nurtures us.

The Green Grids Initiative—One Sun One World One Grid (GGI-OSOWOG), the first international network of global interconnected solar power grids, was launched.

The vision 

‘The Sun Never Sets’ and is a constant at some geographical location, globally, at any given point of time.

With India in the middle, the solar spectrum can easily be divided into two broad zones, which are:

  • Far East including countries like Myanmar, Vietnam, Thailand, Lao, Cambodia etc.

  • Far West covering the Middle East and the Africa Region.

Three Phases of the Plan:

First Phase: It will entail interconnectivity within the Asian continent.

Second Phase: It will add Africa.

Third Phase: It is about global interconnection.

Issues with the Project

Geopolitics:

The project is seen as an Indian endeavour for world leadership but under Covid-19 uncertainties, the geopolitical implications of projects like OSOWOG are hard to decipher.

The mechanism of cost-sharing will be challenging, given the varied priorities of participating countries depending on their socio-economic orders.

Globalisation vs De-Globalisation:

  • The OSOWOG will turn out to be an expensive, complex and very slow progress project.

  • The strategic benefits, if any, of having a single grid will be obliterated in the wake of any geopolitical problem.

  • In India, the major issue of renewable energy developers is to deal with different state governments and hence, different laws and regulations.

  • Further, the project also contradicts the Prime Minister’s Aatmanirbhar Bharat (self-dependent India) vision, as it extends the reliance for a major strategic entity, energy supply, to other countries through this grid.

Cost Benefit

Supply of energy through this grid, in a time zone with a six-hour difference will require thousands of kilometres of transmission of the electricity, which will add up a huge cost.

Centralised vs Distributed Generation

There is a difference in voltage, frequency and specifications of the grid in most regions.

Maintaining grid stability with just renewable generation would be technically difficult.

Significance of OSOWOG

  1. The project seeks to assist all its participating bodies to attract effective investments in renewable energy sources by utilising technology, finance and skill.

  2. A collaborative effort by all stakeholder countries will lead to reduced project costs, higher efficiencies and increased asset utilisation for all involved.

  3. The resulting economic benefit of using a more cost effective source of energy production could be employed in other areas such as poverty alleviation, provision of drinking water, sanitation facilities and food security.

  4. Global collaboration will bring in increased investment into research and development centres like the centre for National Renewable Energy Management in India, as these will now become global and regional management centres.

Way Forward

  • Future renewable-based energy systems globally because regional and international interconnected green grids can enable sharing and balancing of renewable energy across international borders.

  • It allows grabbing opportunities to learn quickly from global developments and share renewable energy resources to reduce the global carbon footprint 

  • Institution building is key to fulfilling the ambitions of a multi-country grid project. In this context, ISA (International Solar Alliance) can act as an independent supranational institution to take decisions about how the grid should be run and conflicts settled

Conclusion

The future of OSOWOG is therefore as bright as the sun.

Download plutus ias daily current affairs 5 November 2021