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Cables to Change the World

Our partners and lead for energy systems modelling, Transition Zero, have today launched the ‘Cables to Change the World’ report on the economic benefits of transmission investments to decarbonise the global electricity supply. The findings and data further underline the fact that there is #NoTransitionWithoutTransmission! Grids are absolutely critical for the energy transition and to achieve net-zero targets. You can access the report here.

The headline findings:

➡ Grids are net-zero lifelines. It is now widely understood that electricity grids will need to be expanded globally to meet the ambitions of the Paris Agreement. However, the amount of deployment necessary on a country-by-country basis and the potential economic benefits are uncertain.

➡ Building grids could save nearly $3 trillion in the net-zero

transition. Reinforcing transmission lines within and between countries reduces the amount of costly generation and storage infrastructure needed, saving the global economy trillions in transition costs. The savings could be greater still when the system resilience and macroeconomic benefits of grids are considered.

➡ Many countries could become net exporters of clean electricity. Transmission allows several nations across the world to tap

into their vast solar and wind resources, allowing surplus generation to be

exported to other countries. This creates new export revenue streams.

➡ Grids create new corridors of global trade. Expanding the transmission systems reshapes the global power network and creates new trade relationships, primarily along an east-to-west supply corridor. This highlights the importance of multilateralism between countries at a time of increasing protectionism.

➡ Ten cables to change the world. Based on a dataset containing more than 800 large transmission pathways, we create a shortlist of ten cables which, if

built, could play an outsized role in decarbonising global electricity supply

at minimal cost to consumers and taxpayers.

➡ Climate finance for grid investments. Our study highlights and quantifies the emission reduction benefits of grid investments. This can help steer the flow of climate finance towards this sector by showing these investments are both cost-effective and transformational.

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