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Open AccessArticle

Pathway Analysis of a Zero-Emission Transition in the Nordic-Baltic Region

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Department of Applied Physics, School of Science, Aalto University, 02150 Espoo, Finland
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Department of Management Engineering, Technical University of Denmark (DTU), 2800 Kongens Lyngby, Denmark
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Faculty of Environmental Sciences and Natural Resource Management, Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU), 1432 Aas, Norway
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Nordic Institute for Studies in Innovation, Research and Education (NIFU), 0608 Oslo, Norway
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Department of Electrical Power Engineering and Mechatronics, Tallinn University of Technology (TalTech), 19086 Tallinn, Estonia
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Institute of Energy Systems and Environment, Riga Technical University (RTU), 1048 Riga, Latvia
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Division of Electric Power and Energy Systems, Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), 10444 Stockholm, Sweden
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Energies 2019, 12(17), 3337; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12173337
Received: 30 June 2019 / Revised: 23 August 2019 / Accepted: 25 August 2019 / Published: 29 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Research Progress for Energy Policy)
A zero-emission pathway for the Nordic and Baltic region in Europe is described based on the comprehensive policy and scenario analyses, accompanied by energy system modelling. The analyses show that a least-cost strategy would massively employ renewable energy, particularly in the power sector. Through strong coupling across energy sectors and countries, electricity would play a central role in the decarbonization of the main energy sectors. In particular power-to-heat conversion, where heat storage appears important in addition to existing hydropower. Technical and regulatory barriers in front of increased sector coupling and flexibility were identified, and policy measures are proposed to overcome these. In addition to a high carbon price, dynamic tariffs and taxation of electricity would be important to allow market signals for flexibility to reach end-users. A stronger power transmission connection from the Nordics to the mainland-Europe and the United Kingdom would be beneficial for the emission reductions and renewable energy use. The transition pathway analysis points out socio-technical issues such as social acceptance of large-scale new infrastructures (e.g., wind, cables). The energy system optimizations indicate that most of the investments needed for the zero-emission pathway until 2050 would take place already by 2030. View Full-Text
Keywords: energy transition; decarbonization; sector coupling; policies; renewable energy energy transition; decarbonization; sector coupling; policies; renewable energy
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Lund, P.D.; Skytte, K.; Bolwig, S.; Bolkesjö, T.F.; Bergaentzlé, C.; Gunkel, P.A.; Kirkerud, J.G.; Klitkou, A.; Koduvere, H.; Gravelsins, A.; Blumberga, D.; Söder, L. Pathway Analysis of a Zero-Emission Transition in the Nordic-Baltic Region. Energies 2019, 12, 3337.

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