~e; continental-(e)-grid

From bc <human@electronetwork.org>
Date Sun, 3 Feb 2002 15:36:09 -0600

  [news from the World Economic Forum, about linking the Russian/Ukraine e-grids
  with the European e-power systems. why this is a general issue, not 
energy specific,
  is that it mirrors the cultural order of technocratic 
systems-engineering, in that
  the economic, social, and political systems are duplicated in the 
systems of electrical
  power, media, and technology. thought this would be happening much 
sooner, though,
  especially with the European Union integration, and presumed 
integration of e-grids
  an electrical EU intranet. add to that Russia, and it goes even 
farther in the mirror-
  stage of global ordering of the land- and mind-scapes. what is 
paralleled is the free-
  market sound of the deal, energy trading ala Enronomics (Enron 
  which was same-old same-old Houstonian Big-Bust (good article on 
this in Salon.com).
  and, more importantly, that these large powergrids and the energy 
trading of electrons
  (a logical faux pas) are much less than 2/3rds inefficient, 
especially the longer that the
  power is tranmitted long-distances, more is lost than is used. 
meaning, most of the
  resources burned go up in smoke, literally, meaning money and 
pollutino and wars and
  all the rest, while the economics may improve for the outdated 
industrial system. that
  is, unless a superconducting long-distance (near zero-loss) 
transmission system were
  developed and deployed (unlikely in the nearest term). in any case, 
not to wonk on any
  one issue but rather the general idea that such 'news' is rich in 
cultural contextualism.]

Sunday, Feb. 3, 2002  FORUM-

Russian power king eyes linking grid with Europe


NEW YORK, Feb 3 (Reuters) - Russian electricity king Anatoly Chubais 
said Sunday that a top European energy official shared his dream of a 
unified power system that would cut costs and save energy by linking 
grids from Vladivostok to Lisbon.

Chubais, chairman of Russian giant Unified Energy Systems (UES) , 
also hinted that a strategic investor could soon be found for the 
state-controlled company, which he said was already profiting from 
its restructuring.

He spoke to reporters during a break in an energy governors' meeting 
in the margins of the World Economic Forum, a gathering of the 
political and business elite.

"The theme of synchronizing Russian and European energy systems was 
raised a lot," he said.

Synchronization refers to switching to a parallel operational mode, 
which would allow Russia and Europe instantly to fill gaps in the 
other's power supplies by selling electricity to each other at times 
of reduced local need.

Chubais said he had discussed the notion briefly with European 
Commission Vice President and Commissioner for Transport and Energy 
Loyola de Palacio, whom he said was also at the meeting.

"She is a firm supporter of our idea," said Chubais, who has hinted 
at ambitious electricity export plans in the past.

Russia and Ukraine have already coordinated their national power 
grids and the natural monopoly that Chubais runs has agreed to take a 
similar step with the former Soviet republic of Belarus and Baltic 

Chubais said the Commonwealth of Independent States electrical energy 
council would meet in March, and he hoped the former Soviet states 
would give his plan political backing.

"Then we will go to working groups," he said, but noted, "There are 
huge technical, juridical and political problems."

Chubais said UES capitalization had doubled in four months.

"But we need more than this...We categorically require direct 
strategic investment in our power plants, in our power transmission," 
he said. "We need a strategic investor."

He added, "As things stand today we cannot boast of results. But 
preparations are ongoing and I hope that this year such a result will 
be achieved."

Chubais declined to say if anyone had been identified as a potential 
strategic investor, saying, "It's a bit early."

UES, 52 percent state-owned but one of the Russian market's most 
liquid stocks, has launched an ambitious reform and restructure plan 
to win billions of dollars in investment.

The plan aims at forming a grid company, a competitive electricity 
market and new national generating companies.

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