Electricity Without Borders

The need for cross-border transmission investment in Europe

PhDBelow (or clicking on the picture on the right) you can download the Ph.D. thesis of our former team member Carlo Brancucci Martínez-Anido, successfully defended at Delft University of Technology on September 25, 2013. The main focus is on the impacts of possible changes in electricity generation and demand patterns on the need for cross-border transmission investment in Europe.

An increase in cross-border electricity flows is foreseen in Europe in the coming decades due to large-scale penetration of renewable energy, the electrical integration of the Euro- Mediterranean region, the electrification of transport, and possible shifts in electricity generation dispatch caused by the evolution of CO2 prices.

This dissertation explores the impacts of possible changes in electricity generation and demand patterns on the need for cross-border transmission investment in Europe. The analysis is performed with EUPowerDispatch, a minimum-cost unit commitment dispatch model of the European electricity system which was developed by the author and which constitutes one of the main products of his research.

He concludes that the cross-border transmission investment plans that are foreseen by ENTSO-E by 2025 are adequate given the expected evolution of the European power system. However, in order to reach the challenging European power system decarbonisation goal, significantly more cross-border transmission investment is needed, in addition to much stronger decarbonisation policies.

In addition, the research presented in this thesis shows that the demand for cross-border transmission capacity is higher at low CO2 prices, a high share of renewable energy and low electricity demand. Moreover, the extent to which energy storage and demand response substitute or complement cross-border transmission capacity depends on the need for arbitrage in the interconnected European power system.

PhD Thesis Defence Committee:

  • Rector Magnificus, Technische Universiteit Delf
  • Prof. dr. ir. M.P.C. Weijnen, Technische Universiteit Delft, promotor
  • Dr. ir. L.J. de Vries, Technische Universiteit Delft, copromotor
  • Prof. dr. R.W. Künneke, Technische Universiteit Delft
  • Dr. G. De Santi, European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Institute for Energy and Transport
  • Prof. dr. W. Nuttall, Open University (UK)
  • Prof. dr. I. Pérez-Arriaga, Universidad Pontificia Comillas de Madrid & Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Prof. dr. C. von Hirschhausen, Technische Universität Berlin



This research was supervised by Delft University of Technology and funded/co-supervised by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre - Institute for Energy and Transport (JRC-IET). The views expressed are purely those of the author, and may not in any circumstances be regarded as stating an official position of the European Commission.

ISBN 978-90-79787-52-4 © 2013 Carlo Brancucci Martínez-Anido. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without prior permission in writing from the author. Layout adapted from Kwabena Pambour; Cover design: Catalin Felix Covrig & Mircea Ardelean; Dutch translation: Remco Verzijlbergh.






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