FEEM working papers "Note di lavoro" series
2014 .003

Quantifying the Long-Term Economic Benefits of European Electricity System Integration


Authors: Eva Schmid, Brigitte Knopf
Series: Energy: Resources and Markets
Editor: Giuseppe Sammarco
Keywords: Transmission Infrastructure Planning, European Energy Policy Targets, Mitigation
JEL n.: Q42, Q48, Q54

Abstract

This paper analyses a set of model-based decarbonization scenarios in order to quantify the long-term economic benefits that arise from an increasing integration of the pan-European electricity system. It thereby focuses on the interplay between transmission infrastructure and renewable generation capacity expansion. We confirm earlier findings that, on aggregate, pan-European transmission capacity expansion constitutes a no-regret option for integrating increasing shares of variable renewables in mitigation scenarios with positive social returns on investment. However, it turns out that the change in total discounted system costs that occurs as transmission capacity expansion increases is modest in magnitude, with a maximum of 3.5% for a case with no expansion compared to one with massive expansion. In technical terms this means that the optimum is rather flat and that taking into account regional and local benefits and distributional aspects, could alter the evaluation of the economic benefits considerably. A crucial finding in this context is that the configuration of pan-European transmission infrastructure and the importance of specific country-connections, i.e. a “Southern” versus a “Northern” solution, crucially hinges on the relative development of specific investment costs for solar and wind technologies over the next decades.

***

Suggested citation: Schmid, E., B. Knopf, (2014), 'Quantifying the Long-Term Economic Benefits of European Electricity System Integration', Nota di Lavoro 3.2014, Milan, Italy: Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.

Download file
Download PDF file

FEEM Newsletter

Subscribe to stay connected.

Your personal data will be processed by Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei. – data Controller – with the aim of emailing the FEEM newsletter. The use of Your email address is necessary for the implementation of the newsletter service. You are invited to read the Privacy Policy in order to obtain additional information about the protection of Your rights.

This Website uses technical cookies and cookie analytics, as well as “third party” profiling cookies.
If you close this banner or you decide to continue navigating on this Website, you express consent to the use of cookies. If you need additional information or you wish to express selective choices on the use of cookies, please refer to the   Cookie PolicyI agree