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Open AccessArticle

Effects of a Delayed Expansion of Interconnector Capacities in a High RES-E European Electricity System

1
Öko-Institut e.V., Merzhauser Straße 173, 79100 Freiburg, Germany
2
Bremen Energy Research, Jacobs University Bremen, Campus Ring 1, 28759 Bremen, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Energies 2019, 12(16), 3098; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12163098
Received: 28 June 2019 / Revised: 6 August 2019 / Accepted: 7 August 2019 / Published: 12 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 100% Renewable Energy Transition: Pathways and Implementation)
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Abstract

In order to achieve a high renewable share in the electricity system, a significant expansion of cross-border exchange capacities is planned. Historically, the actual expansion of interconnector capacities has significantly lagged behind the planned expansion. This study examines the impact that such continued delays would have when compared to a strong interconnector expansion in an ambitious energy transition scenario. For this purpose, scenarios for the years 2030, 2040, and 2050 are examined using the electricity market model PowerFlex EU. The analysis reveals that both CO2 emissions and variable costs of electricity generation increase if interconnector expansion is delayed. This effect is most significant in the scenario year 2050, where lower connectivity leads roughly to a doubling of both CO2 emissions and variable costs of electricity generation. This increase results from a lower level of European electricity trading, a curtailment of electricity from a renewable energy source (RES-E), and a corresponding higher level of conventional electricity generation. Most notably, in Southern and Central Europe, less interconnection leads to higher use of natural gas power plants since less renewable electricity from Northern Europe can be integrated into the European grid. View Full-Text
Keywords: European electricity system; interconnector capacities; delayed grid expansion; electricity market modeling; decarbonization; renewable integration European electricity system; interconnector capacities; delayed grid expansion; electricity market modeling; decarbonization; renewable integration
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Supplementary material

  • Externally hosted supplementary file 1
    Doi: 10.5281/zenodo.3257495
    Link: https://zenodo.org/record/3257495
    Description: Effects of a Delayed Expansion of Interconnector Capacities in a High RES-E European Electricity System - Dataset
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Ritter, D.; Meyer, R.; Koch, M.; Haller, M.; Bauknecht, D.; Heinemann, C. Effects of a Delayed Expansion of Interconnector Capacities in a High RES-E European Electricity System. Energies 2019, 12, 3098.

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