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Offshore Market Design in Integrated Energy systems: A Case Study on the North Sea Region towards 2050

Offshore grids, with multiple interacting transmission and generation units connecting to the shores of several countries, are expected to have an important role in the cost-effective energy transition. Such massive new infrastructure expanding into a new physical space will require new offshore energy market designs. Decisions on these designs today will influence the overall value potential of offshore grids in the future. This paper investigates different possible market configurations and their impacts on operational costs and required congestion management, as well as prices and emissions. We use advanced integrated energy system optimisation, applied to a study case on the North Sea region towards 2050. Our analysis confirms the well-known concept of nodal pricing as the most preferable market configuration. Nodal pricing minimises costs (0.2-1.6 b€/year lower) and CO2 emissions (0.6-5.6 Mton/year lower) with respect to alternative market designs investigated. The performance of the different market designs is highly influenced by the overall architecture of the offshore grid, and the rest of the energy system. E.g., flexibility options help reducing the spread between the designs. But the results are robust: nodal pricing in offshore grids emerges as the preferable market configuration for a cost-effective energy transition to carbon neutrality.

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Keywords: Offshore grids, Market design, Congestion management, Integrated energy systems, Optimisation

DOI: 10.5547/01956574.45.4.jgea

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Published in Volume 45, Number 4 of the bi-monthly journal of the IAEE's Energy Economics Education Foundation.


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