The role of grid extensions in a cost-efficient transformation of the European electricity system until 2050

The role of grid extensions in a cost-efficient transformation of the European electricity system until 2050 / Michaela Fürsch, Simeon Hagspiel, Cosima Jägemann, et al. Köln : EWI, 2012, 38 p. (Working Paper, No 12/04)

As an attempt to ght global warming, many countries try to reduce CO2 emissions in the power sector by signi cantly increasing the proportion of renewable energies (RES-E). A highly intermeshed electricity transmission grid allows the achievement of this target cost-efficiently by enabling the usage of most favorable RES-E sites and by facilitating the integration of
uctuating RES-E infeed and regional electricity demands. However, construction of new lines is often proceeding very slowly in areas with a high population density.
In this paper, we try to quantify the bene ts of optimal transmission grid extensions for Europe until 2050 compared to moderate extensions when ambitious RES-E and CO2 reduction targets are achieved. We iterate a large-scale dynamic investment and dispatch optimization model for Europe with a loadflow based transmission grid model, in order to determine the optimal deployment of electricity generation technologies and transmission grid extensions from a system integrated point of view. Main ndings of our analysis include that large transmission grid extensions are needed to achieve the European targets cost-efficiently. When the electricity network is cost-optimally extended, 228,000 km are built until 2050, representing an increase of 76% compared to today. Further ndings include substantial increases of average system costs for electricity until 2050, even if RES-E are deployed efficiently throughout Europe, the grid is extended optimally, and if signi cant cost reductions of RES-E are assumed. (© the authors)

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