Monochrome beige power meters are lined up against an exterior brick wall in Soeul, Korea.

Photo: Linh Ha / Unsplash

As part of its ongoing efforts to improve energy connectivity and increase access to a clean, affordable, and secure electricity supply, UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN ESCAP) is developing a Roadmap for a Green Power Corridor in Northeast Asia. Covering China, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Japan, Mongolia, the Republic of Korea and northeastern Russia, the Roadmap will chart a path to improved regional power grid connectivity through technical, institutional, financial, regulatory and political cooperation.

SEI is supporting the Roadmap’s development by modelling power grid connectivity options and their comparative costs and benefits. A team of SEI experts have built a model using flagship tools LEAP and NEMO that simulates each national and subnational power grid in the region (17 in total across the six countries) and explores their evolution through 2060.

The model accounts for the study countries’ latest energy and climate plans, including updated Nationally Determined Contributions to the Paris Agreement and net zero commitments. It simulates electricity demand and supply (generation, storage, and transmission capacity expansion and dispatch) in an integrated framework.

SEI is using the model to evaluate different scenarios of grid connectivity and sustainable development. The connectivity possibilities include grid configurations examined in significant past studies, such as the Asian Super Grid, North-East Asian Power System Interconnection (NAPSI), and North-East Asian Energy Interconnection (NEAEI), as well as new options developed with regional stakeholders.

By quantifying trade-offs and advantages of potential connectivity improvements, SEI’s work is developing critical evidence for the Roadmap. Once the modelling analysis is complete, SEI will transfer the model to regional partners and provide training on its continued use.

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The Low Emissions Analysis Platform (LEAP) is a powerful, versatile system for energy planning and climate change mitigation assessment.