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European Electricity Grid Infrastructure Expansion in a 2050 Context

Abstract:
This paper analyzes the development of the European electricity transmission network for different policy scenarios at the horizon 2050. We apply a bottom-up techno-economic electricity sector model to determine transformation scenarios of the European electricity sector. It has a very detailed spatial disaggregation that allows for a fine representation of domestic and international electricity flows and transmission expansion. The cost-minimizing mixed-integer model calculates investments for time steps of ten years. The model results indicate that network requirements are lower than generally assumed. The largest share are domestic upgrades, rather than country interconnectors. Most investments (20bn EUR) occur in the near future, by 2030 the latest. Only the high-mitigation scenarios require large additional network investments. The timing and location of investments differ, depending on generation scenarios and cost assumptions for inter-connectors. The results indicate that carbon emission reduction targets alone provide insufficient information for long-term network planning.

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Keywords: Electricity, European Transmission Network, Investment Model

DOI: https://doi.org/10.5547/01956574.37.SI3.jege

References: View References


Published in Volume 37, Sustainable Infrastructure Development and Cross-Border Coordination of The Quarterly Journal of the IAEE's Energy Economics Education Foundation.