International World Group (IWG), the new and already well- established company founded by Giancarlo Elia Valori has signed a very important Agreement with China’s National Ocean Technology Center (NOTC). This is the result of the great attention that President Xi Jinping and his Minister of Energy Resources, Lu Hao – leading a vast and powerful Department that brings together six previous Ministries – have always paid to the environmental and green transformation of the entire Chinese economy.
This is the President Xi Jinping’s policy line, which goes hand in hand with the project that acts as the nervous system of this policy line, namely the New Silk Road.
Abundant and clean energy, as well as expansion, in a win- win logic, to make the great expansion of the future Chinese economy outside its natural borders possible and economically rational.
So outlined, the Agreement between the IWG and the Chinese National Ocean Technology Center seems to be yet another important business news, which hits the headlines of the most important global business media.
Indeed, this agreement is much more than that.
The Rome-based IWG led by President Valori has long been operating as one of the most important companies in the transfer of renewable energy technologies.
In this case, the cutting-edge technologies concern the energy produced by the waves and tides of the Chinese marine system.
It should be considered that currently 40% of the world’s population already lives within 100 kilometres from the sea and the great oceans.
If we study the issue with the mathematical model called Simulating Waves Nearshore (SWAN), we can see that for the South Pacific coasts this model predicts the possible existence of energy hotspots, every 5 kilometers from the shores and with depths of no more than 22 meters.
This means that every ocean, and especially the Pacific, has a stable overabundance of energy that can be extracted from waves, currents and tides.
The sea kinetic energy, inevitably cyclical and eternal for geographical reasons and for the cycle of terrestrial and cosmic motions, is divided into four main categories of “extraction”, if we can still use this word.
Electric currents are extracted with energy converters, or with energy extractors from tides, but also with thermal converters, and finally with new technologies, which mainly use the differences in the salt gradient between sea and inland waters. In general terms, with all these technologies over 7,550 Gigawatts can be extracted throughout the world by the end of 2050 without causing any environmental damage.
That is already a lot.
It is also a quantity already higher than the maximum peak of the current US energy consumption.
Interestingly, with sea renewable energy, we can save over 5 trillion tons of CO2 in the atmosphere.
In Ravenna, Italy, ENI has already started to operate the Inertial Sea Waves Converter (ISWEC), designed to extract at least 50 GW from the sea cyclic movements.
Again in Italy, a joint venture is underway between ENI, Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, TERNA and Fincantieri for the construction of sea energy production systems, but on an industrial and mass level.
With the agreement reached between IWG and the Chinese NOCT we are going far beyond.
The Nanjing-based research company is at the forefront in optimising energy structures and in analysing the ecological and production aspects of the new sea energy extraction stations.
In Europe, and especially in Italy, we have already invented energy and marine technologies that could be very interesting for the Chinese people.
Italy, together with Scandinavia, is a European and global leader in this field of research and applications.
Moreover, in the EU, these technologies will already be economically profitable by the end of 2050, i.e. in the near future.
Great Britain, for example, has a tidal energy potential of at least 18 TWh, which is an excellent level, while currently in Italy 18.3% of energy consumption is already “green”, with a rather good share of renewables from the sea, i.e. 11%, but in 2020.
Chinese scientists think that China can extract as many as 8.2 GW, especially from the Zhoushan Islands and the Province of Zhejiang, without undermining the coastal environmental balance.
However, there are over fifty global projects currently operational for the world’s extraction of electricity from tidal energy.
In Europe, in principle, almost all countries are shifting towards the technology of horizontal axis turbines, which is the sea parallel of wind turbines.
There are also the “Point Absorbers”, which use the vertical wave motion and, as a class of advanced generators, we have the oscillating wave surge converters. Finally there are the attenuators, i.e. floating systems that operate with special pumps inside them.
There is also a small structure, developed by the University of Pisa, which consists of a device placed on the bottom of the sea and a mobile system that follows the wave cycle.
We have many fully submerged latest generation converters, or systems consisting of a moving mass that, connected to a generator, is installed inside a hull, to acquire the energy from pitching and rolling movements.
We also have at our disposal the technologies that operate through the hydrogen electrolysis, an Italian pilot-project that currently uses a 500 KW similar system, already anchored in the Strait of Messina.
In Italy the areas already covered by energy from the sea movement cycle – however, only partly – are already quite large.
They stretch from the cities in the Marches Region, now electrified with a 24% share of energy from marine motion, to the Umbria Region, which is landlocked, and the area in the Province of La Spezia.
The production cost of tidal energy is the lowest among similar costs in the field of renewable energy.
The equipment depreciation cost is often lower than the cost of wind or solar energy.
Normally, the generator is placed on a floating surface, which is connected by cables to the bottom of the sea.
There are five buoys connected to the cables, which contain electrical systems and advanced sensors to connect to as many as four turbines, which operate just below sea level. Low environmental invasiveness is a typical feature of all these technologies.
In addition to full renewability, this is what really matters.
We should also recall the actions taken by the China National Renewable Energy Center, together with the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), for the 30-year programme aimed at completely eliminating the energy carbon production in the Zhangjiakou area.
In China, in 2018, there was a large investment to the tune of 79 RMB for just two demonstration systems of energy from the sea cycle.
There was also the reaction of an energy structure using desalination, which was installed on the Wanshan Island, using the technology called Sharp Eagle, i.e. a semi- submersible system that can be anchored or submerged to produce tidal energy.
In the case of Wanshan, it is a 36-metre system with a width of 24 metres and a 16-metre high wave converter.
All this shows that it is a powerful structure of about 120 kW, but extremely manageable and with very little environmental impact.
It dates back to 2015, but it is completely autonomous for energy production and distribution.
With a view to improving sea energy production, the European universities and, above all, the one in Turin, with which we have long been cooperating, have identified three optimisation lines of action: a) turbines that work in both directions of the currents induced by tides; b) turbines installed under floats, but without exposing the machines to storms; c) turbines attached to cables, as it was designed for the devices and equipment in the Strait of Messina.
There are even completely new concepts in the design phase, such as the possibility of exploiting the energy from currents by means of rubber “eel-shaped structures”, which produce electricity from their wave motion, or systems which imitate, under water, the sails or the fish fins, thus optimizing electricity production also in this case.
There are also mechanisms that exploit the energy from the waves hitting a concrete barrier, so as to pump air that moves a turbine and produces electricity.
Such an experiment, already in operation in the port of
Civitavecchia, seems to be working very well.
Dimemo, a wave impact energy production system in the port of Naples, also works very well.
We also have new membranes of polymers that produce electricity bending upon the thrust of waves, or of tubes that are compressed at the bottom by the passage of sea motions.
A pendulum, designed by the University of Turin, has long been operational, which moves a generator, oscillating together with the waves.
We also need to recall the “H24” designed by the Pisan mathematician Michele Grassi, which operates on depths between 6 and 12 meters.
The waves move a parallelepiped, which is connected to an alternator.
Already tested in front of Marina di Pisa in 2015, it was perfected by the company of Grassi himself.
There is also a problem with the energy absorption of transport networks, an issue in which we are particularly interested and in relation to which we can develop innovative and effective projects.
Hence, with this MoU we establish a first, but fundamental, relationship between China and International World Group, together with some remarkable sovereign funds, to improve energy production, the environment, health and the economy of the whole China. It is a great source of pride for us.
A Good Transport System Supercharges the Economic Engine
The infrastructure bill in the U.S. has been signed into law. At the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), they are celebrating the fruition of a couple of decades, at least, of hard work publicizing the decaying infrastructure and lobbying for a fix-it bill. Countless delegations have visited the White House and met with staff to present their case. And something for their efforts is better than nothing.
They also started a grading system, giving an overall grade — currently C minus, a notch above the previous one. The bill seeks improvement in roads, bridges and transit although it falls short of the ASCE estimates for what is needed. For example, the bill contains $39 billion for transit (ASCE grade of D minus) but there is a backlog of $176 billion that is needed. Given Republican opposition to spending and the compromises made to pass the bill, the administration got what they could — they can always fight for more later.
This opposition against infrastructure spending is somewhat incomprehensible because it generates jobs and grows the economy. Too much spending, too fast has inflationary potential but that is caused by too much money chasing too few goods, usually not when there is a tangible product — improved transit, roads and bridges in this case. And then there are also other ways of checking inflation.
This bill is a start but still a long way from having high speed cross-country electric trains as in other major industrialized countries. These are the least polluting and especially less than airplanes which emit six times more CO2 per passenger mile.
Why is the U.S. so lagging in high-speed rail when compared with Europe and Japan? Distances are one reason given although these are a function of time. No one would have thought of commuting 30 miles each way to work in the 19th century but it is not uncommon now for some to be quite willing to sit 45 minutes each way on a train for the pleasure of living in the greenery of suburbia.
The bill also includes $110 billion for roads and bridges. Unfortunately the backlog of repair has left 42.7 percent of roads in sub-standard condition costing motorists an estimated $130 billion per year in extra vehicle repair and maintenance. Some $435 billion is now needed to repair existing roads plus $125 billion for bridges, $120 billion for system expansion and $105 billion for system enhancements like increasing safety — a necessary improvement given a changing environment such as an increase in bicycle traffic. Allowing for round-off discrepancies, the total amounts to $786 billion (in the funding and future need section of reference). Increases in severe weather events have also had their effect, causing damage to roadways and further burdening the repair budget.
New technologies (in the innovation section of reference) like advanced pavement monitoring on key roads, using moisture and temperature sensors embedded in the roadway, now make it possible to assess pavements quickly without impacting road users. This leads to earlier repair and in addition new materials increase the life cycle. Much of this requires increased investment up front to take advantage of the new innovations.
Above all one can never afford to forget that a good transport system acts like a supercharger for the economic engine.
Another Look at the Prospects of a Eurasian Digital Platform
In view of the idiosyncratic features of Eurasia with respect to the gravity of distance, a common Eurasian platform for digital economic agreements may allow the region to attenuate the effects of distance and severe economic fragmentation — most notably in the regulatory sphere — emanating from the sheer size of Eurasia and the multiplicity of regional integration arrangements. By consolidating regional, bilateral, as well as corporate alliances, a common Eurasian digital platform would allow its members to introduce greater consistency and compatibility into the existing set of digital economic agreements, thus providing the conditions for multilateralising existing digital arrangements and for creating new digital economic accords.
One of the ways to create a digital “platform of platforms” for Eurasia that is to include platforms for regional integration arrangements, regional development banks and regional financing arrangements (RFAs) of the countries of Eurasia.
- The platform for regional integration arrangements would work towards advancing greater inter-operability into the digital platforms of Eurasia’s regional groupings such as the EU, the EAEU, ASEAN, RCEP, EFTA, BIMSTEC, SAFTA, GCC.
- The platform for regional development banks and funds such as EDB, EIB, ADB, EBRD, SDF, CAF would focus on building project portfolios in the area of digital cooperation/digital connectivity/digital inclusiveness and work to advance digital economic agreements (DEAs) on the basis of the existing digital arrangements concluded by countries such as Singapore.
- The platform for regional financing arrangements (ESM, EFSD, Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralization, Arab Monetary Fund) would focus on the coordination of anti-crisis measures, the creation of ex-ante anti-crisis response mechanisms based on the use of “big data” and forward looking indicators obtained through digital cooperation and data exchange.
These three platforms can reinforce one another and can be further complemented by country-level and corporate-level platforms to form a Eurasian ecosystem of digital cooperation and inter-operability.
Such a Eurasian “platform of platforms” is:
- Digital: it advances digital cooperation, including digital trade at the level of countries and regions
- Regional: it places particular emphasis on building cooperation in areas that have hitherto lacked coordination, namely among regional integration arrangements and their development institutions
- Scalable: it can be replicated in other parts of the world as well as at the global level via creating a regional layer of global governance
The current economic framework in Eurasia is fragmented and lacks the digital connectivity that would be predicated on cross-country and cross-regional digital agreements. This in turn limits the capability of countries to coordinate policies in areas such as trade, migration, digital economy development. A common platform would address the issue of the “digital gap” across the countries of Eurasia via promoting greater “digital inclusivity”, most notably with respect to the low-income developing economies. Such a common digital platform for Eurasia may prove to be particularly important for land-locked developing countries that face notable geographical/logistic barriers to trade.
Indeed, of all of the different parts of the global economy Eurasia stands to benefit the most from greater digital connectivity and inclusivity, given the prominence of the “distance factor” that constrains the intensity of economic cooperation within the region. The gravity of distance is particularly costly for Eurasia’s land-locked economies — in fact Eurasia harbours 26 out of 44 (59%) of all of the world’s landlocked countries. Moreover, the scale of “inwardness” of some of the regions of Eurasia in terms of geographical location is truly unique, whereby Kazakhstan is the largest landlocked country in the world, while Bishkek is the farthest capital city from the coast in the world (all top-5 of the most distant capitals from the sea coast in the world are in Asia).
Existing research suggests that digital platforms may exert a sizeable effect in reducing the gravity of distance: as noted by Pierre-Louis Vézina, “distance between countries impedes international trade, but it matters 65% less for trade on the eBay platform than for traditional offline trade… The online world is flatter”. Yet another study focusing on the EU evaluated the importance of distance for e-commerce. This study of 721 regions in five countries of the European Union shows that while distance is not “dead” in e-commerce, there is evidence that express delivery in e-commerce reduces distance for cross-border demand.
Ways of measuring the effectiveness of a common platform would include the scale of liberalization and trade facilitation in digital trade across the Eurasian platform; increases in the size of the portfolio of joint investment projects related to the digital economy on the part of the region’s development institutions, increases in cross-border and cross-regional trade and investment associated with the digital economy. The number of multilateral digital economic agreements (DEAs) facilitated by the platform would be a measure of the contribution of the initiative to multilateralism. Another important metric is increases in connectivity arising from the creation of the platform — this would concern increases in digital connectivity/inclusivity, most notably in developing economies.
A common digital platform in Eurasia will serve to improve coordination across countries as well as regional integration arrangements and their development institutions. It will also serve to transform the landscape of trade agreements by facilitating the conclusion of digital economic agreements and multilateralising existing digital accords. The common platform will also advance international cooperation in the digital sphere and other areas pertaining to the Fourth Industrial Revolution to strengthen the response to the Covid pandemic and improve the region’s capabilities in the health care sphere as well as other areas pertaining to the development of human capital. A more cooperative framework for Eurasia that aims to emulate best practices and standards across the platform will also be conducive to longer-term cooperation, a more active use of ESG standards and greater emphasis placed on economic sustainability.
The creation of the Eurasian digital platform may be a step towards building a global network of cooperation on the basis of a “bottom-up” plurilateral cooperation among regional blocs rather than a “top-down” framework devised at the global level. Such an approach conforms with the principles contained in the WEF’s White paper on Globalization 4.0 that advocates the use of flexible plurilateral trade agreements as a way of further advancing trade openness in key areas, including in digital trade and e-commerce: “open plurilateral agreements of this nature are the most promising way available to update the trade rulebook without further fragmenting the world economy and weakening its crucial multilateral foundation”.
The formation of an open digital platform for Eurasia renders it amenable to replication at the level of not only regional arrangements, but also at the level of country-to-country cooperation as well as multilateral corporate platforms. An important aspect of the operation of such a platform is the principle of openness and inclusivity — whereby developing countries benefit from greater “digital inclusion” and the possibility to join digital alliances with advanced economies across Eurasia. In this way, the operation of such a platform contributes to a more sustainable and balanced economic paradigm across Eurasia.
From our partner RIAC
Future of the Chambers of Commerce of the World
New world has already emerged; the global populace on economic fronts, now thinks and demands differently, smart are the nations cognizant of such tectonic shifts, adjusting post pandemic recovery and tabling new economic models. All over the world, some 10,000 plus Chamber of Commerce with some 45 million members represents a big slice of such global economics in post pandemic fights. Today, in metamorphosis, if each such chamber as a local pillar within a city needs to be on digital platforms of upskilling and exportability to enable displaying their individual members on the global stage and engaging marketplaces with updated skills will boost local global trades. Such narratives are no longer rocket sciences but as existing realities since last decade as necessary tools to survive in a digitized world. What are the challenges of such transformations? Hence awaits a bright future for the Chamber of Commerce of the world.
There is no business like small business; no further proof required as almost all economies of the world have now accepted small and midsize business as top of the agenda. Economic development teams have now understood that any uplift, upskilling, reskilling, unskilling of SME+MFG on AI+AV+VR platforms will only save national economies. On the National Mobilization of Entrepreneurialism Protocols already tabled by Expothon Worldwide, study more on Google, where the local chambers can enjoy an excellent opportunity to lead on such fronts. Critical mind shifts are essential, as new attitudes needed with an entrepreneurial mindset for such deployments.
Emergence of new business math: A $1000, investment in technology buys digital solutions, which were million dollars, a decade ago. Today, a $1000 investment buys on global-age upskilling on export expansion that were million dollars a decade ago. Today, a $1000 investment on virtual-events buys what took a year and cost a million dollars a decade ago. Today, any micro-small-medium-enterprise capable of remote working models can save 80% of office and bureaucratic costs and suddenly operate like a mini-multi-national with little or no additional costs. What opportunities all this creates for 10,000 chambers of the world and how can they shine with their 45 million membership on various platforms and uplift the local economic base? How such events tabled, planned and executed and what will it take to start the process, on a systematic basis on which there are starting points.
Now is the time for national mobilization of entrepreneurialism on digital platforms of upskilling for exportability, for some 200 nations and 10,000 cities. Imagine if chambers in selected nations mobilized 1K to 5K SME for digital platforms for rapid-fire upskilling of exporters and reskilling of micro and small-medium manufactures to quadruple productivity, performance and profitability leading to additional new jobs creations. This is like a Marshall Plan but in reality more like a turnkey digital platform economy maneuver seeking right and authoritative leadership. Imagine if doubling or quadrupling productivity created dozens of new jobs, this would add 100s of million new jobs in 1-2 years. Maybe not the best jobs but surely secure local grassroots prosperity. The new global vision of the chamber waits for massive digitalization and mind shift change to optimize such global power play.
Facing tribulations; when everything is upside down, every business model on its knees, every effort futile where human endurance is always on real test, the outside world now morphed into unrecognizable formats. This is not dystopia; this is a new world.
Creating triangulations; when strange combinations create brand new landscapes, when accidental triangulations germinate new powerful new solutions, innovative excellence takes over and entrepreneurialism becomes a super driver.
Awaiting transformations; when such new frontiers transform our ideas and accidents into real actions lifting us to the upper stratosphere, when superior critical thinking and complex problem solving finds new paths to lead forward, we embrace new normalcy.
New global opportunities bring highly value added solutions to the local memberships of each chamber. The “Work + Office + Health + Money + Politics + Globalization” suddenly, all morphed into one gigantic blob of global calamity, forcing new challenges, creating new thinking and getting the world on brand new combinations of growth tracks. Now is the time for trade groups to come together, Local Department and Agencies, Trade Associations and Chambers across the world must unite in global narratives in participating on various aspects to boost their own local presence and their own memberships across the board. The challenge is open-mindedness to cope with SME + MFG +EXPORTS +PRODUCTIVITY + PERFORMANCE + PROFITABILITY + PLATFORM +ECONOMY aspects of expanding enterprises.
The new Trends: the global loss of credibility of institutions and distrust of political leadership will now open new narratives, new debates and bold new thinking. Absence of leadership will dispose of political correctness and seek disruption of political abuse. Almost every century there are such clashes of ideologies and strikingly humankind always survives no matter how battered. The game is about recognizing and defining values and understanding the global age of expanding diversity. Observe how new mindsets appear, how they shift, progress and advance. Therefore, becoming a lifelong learning student is not only a great start but also a safeguard from public hysteria. Without upskilling on global age platforms, the future is dark for economic development.
Next year this time, our world would have moved forward at much faster paces, but all due to almost free technologies. Those with mastery of national mobilization will have distinct advantages. By design nouveau-revolutionary, by style mobilization-centric, and by action deployment-ready, by results transformational; this economic-friendly thought leadership is a pragmatic approach to shake down lingering slowdown on global exportability and challenges midsize business economic management nation by nation across the world and offers immediately deployable solutions. Platform economy allows such mobilizations; global-age provides the right battlefields. Mostly, not dependent on new funding, rather deployment craved and execution starved. New mindsets urgently needed. The future is knocking; open the doors
The rest is easy
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