Medium-Term Demand for European Cross-Border Electricity Transmission Capacity

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Journal Papers
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C. Brancucci Martinez-Anido
M. Vandenbergh
L. de Vries
C. Alecu
A. Purvins
G. Fulli
T. Huld

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The aim of this paper is to analyse the need for investment in electricity interconnectors in Europe between 2010 and 2025. We evaluate the impact of cross-border transmission capacity on curtailment needs for renewable energy sources (RES), on hydro storage utilisation and on security of supply (in terms of energy not served). The analysis is performed with EUPowerDispatch, a minimum cost dispatch model of the European electricity transmission network. For the evolution of the electricity generation portfolio and electricity consumption we use the Scenario Outlook and Adequacy Forecast of the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E).

The model results show that, between 2010 and 2025, cross-border transmission capacity will not be a significant cause for curtailing variable RES. CO2 emissions from electricity generation will decrease by only 0.6% because demand growth offsets the reduction in carbon intensity. The planned expansion in cross-border transmission capacity will be needed to maintain the current level of security of supply. More RES and lower growth in electricity demand will be needed to meet EU climate policy goals. In addition, our study shows how hydro pumping and storage and electricity transmission are at least partly complementary technologies.