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Offshore grids for renewables: do we need a particular regulatory framework?

Onshore, generators are connected to the transmission grid by TSOs. This regulatory model could simply be extended to offshore (i.e. Germany), but the connection of offshore wind farms to shore is also an opportunity to test alternatives, i.e. the third party model (i.e. the UK) or the generator model (i.e. Sweden). In this paper, we argue that the third party and generator models are indeed better suited to support the evolution towards larger scale offshore wind farms that are increasingly developed farther out to sea, while the TSO model is better suited to support the evolution towards cross-border offshore grid projects. In other words, an important trade-off needs to be made because none of the existing regulatory models can fulfill all the expectations in the current context in Europe. And, the trade-off has to be made at the regional or EU level because the different national regulatory frameworks are incompatible when applied to a cross-border offshore grid project.
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Keywords: Renewable energy, Offshore wind, Grid connection, Transmission, Regulation

DOI: 10.5547/2160-5890.4.1.lmee

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Published in Volume 4, Number 1 of The Quarterly Journal of the IAEE's Energy Economics Education Foundation.