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Development Scenarios for the North and Baltic Sea Grid: A Welfare Economic Analysis

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  • Jonas Egerer
  • Friedrich Kunz
  • Christian von Hirschhausen

Abstract

The North and Baltic Sea Grid is one of the largest pan-European infrastructure projects raising high hopes regarding the potential of harnessing large amounts of renewable electricity, but also concerns about the implementation in largely nationally dominated regulatory regimes. The paper develops three idealtype development scenarios and quantifies the technical-economic effects: i) the Status quo in which engagement in the North and Baltic Sea is largely nationally driven; ii) a Trade scenario dominated by bilateral contracts and point-to-point connections; and iii) a Meshed scenario of fully interconnected cables both in the North Sea and the Baltic Sea, a truly pan-European infrastructure. We find that in terms of overall welfare, the meshed solution is superior; however, from a distributional perspective there are losers of such a scheme, e.g. the incumbent electricity generators in France, Germany, and Poland, and the consumers in low-price countries, e.g. Norway and Sweden. Merchant transmission financing, based on congestion rents only, does not seem to be a sustainable option to provide sufficient network capacities, and much of the investment will have to be regulated to come about. We also find strong interdependencies between offshore grid expansion and the subsequent onshore network.

Suggested Citation

  • Jonas Egerer & Friedrich Kunz & Christian von Hirschhausen, 2012. "Development Scenarios for the North and Baltic Sea Grid: A Welfare Economic Analysis," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1261, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwpp:dp1261
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Clemens Gerbaulet & Alexander Weber, 2014. "Is There Still a Case for Merchant Interconnectors?: Insights from an Analysis of Welfare and Distributional Aspects of Options for Network Expansion in the Baltic Sea Region," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1404, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    2. Jonas Egerer, Clemens Gerbaulet, and Casimir Lorenz, 2016. "European Electricity Grid Infrastructure Expansion in a 2050 Context," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Sustainab).
    3. Huppmann, Daniel & Egerer, Jonas, 2015. "National-strategic investment in European power transmission capacity," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 247(1), pages 191-203.
    4. Jonas Egerer, 2016. "Open Source Electricity Model for Germany (ELMOD-DE)," Data Documentation 83, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    5. Gorenstein Dedecca, João & Hakvoort, Rudi A., 2016. "A review of the North Seas offshore grid modeling: Current and future research," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 129-143.
    6. Kristiansen, Martin & Korpås, Magnus & Svendsen, Harald G., 2018. "A generic framework for power system flexibility analysis using cooperative game theory," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 212(C), pages 223-232.
    7. Valeria Di Cosmo & Sean Collins & Paul Deane, 2017. "The Effect of Increased Transmission and Storage in an Interconnected Europe: an Application to France and Ireland," ESP: Energy Scenarios and Policy 263159, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM).
    8. Gerbaulet, C. & Weber, A., 2018. "When regulators do not agree: Are merchant interconnectors an option? Insights from an analysis of options for network expansion in the Baltic Sea region," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 228-246.
    9. Jonas Egerer & Clemens Gerbaulet & Casimir Lorenz, 2013. "European Electricity Grid Infrastructure Expansion in a 2050 Context," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1299, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    10. Rintamäki, Tuomas & Siddiqui, Afzal S. & Salo, Ahti, 2017. "Does renewable energy generation decrease the volatility of electricity prices? An analysis of Denmark and Germany," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 270-282.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Electricity; offshore transmission; rent allocation;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D60 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - General
    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation
    • L94 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Electric Utilities

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