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The role of grid extensions in a cost-efficient transformation of the European electricity system until 2050

  • Fürsch, Michaela


    (Energiewirtschaftliches Institut an der Universitaet zu Koeln)

  • Hagspiel, Simeon


    (Energiewirtschaftliches Institut an der Universitaet zu Koeln)

  • Jägemann, Cosima


    (Energiewirtschaftliches Institut an der Universitaet zu Koeln)

  • Nagl, Stephan


    (Energiewirtschaftliches Institut an der Universitaet zu Koeln)

  • Lindenberger, Dietmar


    (Energiewirtschaftliches Institut an der Universitaet zu Koeln)

  • Tröster, Eckehard

    (Energynautics GmbH,)

As an attempt to fi ght global warming, many countries try to reduce CO2 emissions in the power sector by significantly increasing the proportion of renewable energies (RES-E). A highly intermeshed electricity transmission grid allows the achievement of this target cost-efficiently by enabling the usage of most favorable RES-E sites and by facilitating the integration of fluctuating RES-E infeed and regional electricity demands. However, construction of new lines is often proceeding very slowly in areas with a high population density. In this paper, we try to quantify the bene ts of optimal transmission grid extensions for Europe until 2050 compared to moderate extensions when ambitious RES-E and CO2 reduction targets are achieved. We iterate a large-scale dynamic investment and dispatch optimization model for Europe with a load-flow based transmission grid model, in order to determine the optimal deployment of electricity generation technologies and transmission grid extensions from a system integrated point of view. Main findings of our analysis include that large transmission grid extensions are needed to achieve the European targets cost-efficiently. When the electricity network is cost-optimally extended, 228,000 km are built until 2050, representing an increase of 76% compared to today. Further findings include substantial increases of average system costs for electricity until 2050, even if RES-E are deployed efficiently throughout Europe, the grid is extended optimally, and if signi cant cost reductions of RES-E are assumed.

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Paper provided by Energiewirtschaftliches Institut an der Universitaet zu Koeln in its series EWI Working Papers with number 2012-4.

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Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: 19 Mar 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ris:ewikln:2012_004
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  1. Richard Green, 2007. "Nodal pricing of electricity: how much does it cost to get it wrong?," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 31(2), pages 125-149, April.
  2. Burtraw, Dallas & Palmer, Karen, 2005. "Cost-Effectiveness of Renewable Electricity Policies," Discussion Papers dp-05-01, Resources For the Future.
  3. Ludig, Sylvie & Haller, Markus & Schmid, Eva & Bauer, Nico, 2011. "Fluctuating renewables in a long-term climate change mitigation strategy," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 36(11), pages 6674-6685.
  4. Richter, Jan, 2011. "DIMENSION - A Dispatch and Investment Model for European Electricity Markets," EWI Working Papers 2011-3, Energiewirtschaftliches Institut an der Universitaet zu Koeln.
  5. Neuhoff, K. & Ehrenmann, A. & Butler, L. & Cust, J. & Hoexter, H. & Keats, K. & Kreczko,A. & Sinden, G., 2006. "Space and Time: Wind in an Investment Planning Model," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0620, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  6. Enzo Sauma & Shmuel Oren, 2006. "Proactive planning and valuation of transmission investments in restructured electricity markets," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 30(3), pages 358-387, November.
  7. Nagl, Stephan & Fürsch, Michaela & Jägemann, Cosima & Bettzüge, Marc Oliver, 2011. "The economic value of storage in renewable power systems - the case of thermal energy storage in concentrating solar plants," EWI Working Papers 2011-8, Energiewirtschaftliches Institut an der Universitaet zu Koeln.
  8. Enzo Sauma & Shmuel Oren, 2006. "Proactive planning and valuation of transmission investments in restructured electricity markets," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 30(3), pages 261-290, November.
  9. DeCarolis, Joseph F. & Keith, David W., 2006. "The economics of large-scale wind power in a carbon constrained world," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 395-410, March.
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