Super-Grids and Concentrated Solar Power: A Scenario Analysis with the WITCH Model
We extend the WITCH model to consider the possibility to produce and trade electricity generated by large scale concentrated solar power plants in highly productive areas that are connected to the demand centres through High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) cables. We find that it becomes optimal to produce with this source only from 2040 and trade from 2050. In the second half of the century, CSP electricity shares become very significant especially when penetration limits are imposed on nuclear power and on carbon capture and storage operations (CCS). Climate policy costs can be reduced by large percentages, up to 66% with respect to corresponding scenarios without the CSP-powered Super-Grid option and with limits on nuclear power and CCS. We also show that MENA countries have the incentive to form a cartel to sell electricity to Europe at a price higher than the marginal cost. Therefore we advocate the institution of an international agency with the role to regulate a hypothetic Mediterranean electricity market.
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