China's State Grid: too big to work?

UHV technology being tested in temperatures of -20°C in Wuhan city, Hubei

UHV technology being tested in temperatures of -20°C in Wuhan city, Hubei

Already the seventh-biggest company in the world, Chinese transmission giant State Grid is on a mission to become a global leader.

And with the full support of the Beijing government and almost unlimited funds, there are few limits to what this state-owned corporation could achieve.

Revealing the heights of its aspirations, company president Liu Zhenya recently announced plans for China to export clean electricity all the way from its western Xinjiang province to Germany, along ultra-high-voltage (UHV) transmission lines.

The blueprint, on a scale reminiscent of Soviet-era construction projects, stunned most of those listening to Liu’s speech at the International Council of Large Electric Systems (CIGRE) conference in Paris last August.

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