Deep decarbonization and the supergrid – Prospects for electricity transmission between Europe and China
Journal article, 2022

Long distance transmission within continents has been shown to be one of the most effective variation management strategies to reduce the cost of renewable energy systems. In this paper, we test whether the system cost further decreases when transmission is extended to intercontinental connections. We analyze a Eurasian interconnection between China, Mid-Asia and Europe, using a capacity expansion model with hourly time resolution. Our modelling results suggestthat a supergrid option decreases total system cost by a maximum of 5%, compared to continental grid integration. The maximum cost reductionis achieved when (i) the generation is constrained to be made up almost entirely by renewables, (ii) the land available for VRE farms is relatively limited and the demand is relatively high and (iii) the cost for solar PV and storage is high. This is explained by that a super grid allows for harnessing of remote wind-, solar- and hydro resources demand centers. As for low-cost storage, it represents a competing variation management option, and may substitute part of the role of the supergrid, which is to manage variations through long-distance trade. We conclude that the benefits of a supergrid from a techno-economic perspective are in most cases negligible, or modest at best.

Renewable electricity systems

Supergrid

Inter-continental transmission

Author

Lina Reichenberg

Chalmers, Space, Earth and Environment, Physical Resource Theory, Physical Resource Theory 2

Fredrik Hedenus

Chalmers, Space, Earth and Environment, Physical Resource Theory

Niclas Mattsson

Chalmers, Space, Earth and Environment, Physical Resource Theory, Physical Resource Theory 2

Vilhelm Verendel

Chalmers, Space, Earth and Environment, Physical Resource Theory

Energy

0360-5442 (ISSN)

Vol. 239 122335

Subject Categories

Transport Systems and Logistics

Energy Systems

Other Electrical Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Information Engineering

DOI

10.1016/j.energy.2021.122335

More information

Latest update

1/19/2022