Impact of Variable Renewable Energy on European Cross-Border Electricity Transmission

Publication year: 
2012
Publication Category: 
Conference Papers
Identifier and type: 
n/a
Author: 
C. Brancucci Martínez-Anido
L. de Vries
G. Fulli
Publisher: 
CESUN 2012

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The estimated growth of Europe’s electricity demand and the policy goals of mitigating climate change result in an expected increase in variable renewable energy. A high penetration of wind and solar energy will bring several new challenges to the European electricity transmission network. The objective of this paper is to understand the effects of a high penetration of variable renewable energy sources (RES) on the demand for cross-border electricity transmission in Europe. EUPowerDispatch, a minimum cost dispatch model is used to compare the impacts of different electricity generation and transmission portfolios on cross-border electricity transmission in 2025. The analysis makes use of the best-estimate scenario developed by the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E). Wind and solar energy curtailment needs and variations in load duration curves are analyzed for different scenarios. In addition, the role of hydro energy storage and pumping is analyzed as a complementary technology to transmission in the context of a high penetration of variable RES. The study shows that the planned expansion of the European transmission network is adequate for meeting the expected RES increase and it is needed to maintain the current level of security of supply in the face of the expected demand growth. If RES growth is faster than expected, cross-border transmission capacity will have to increase accordingly if significant RES curtailment is to be avoided.

Keywords: 
Smart grids, super grids, energy security, power system reliability, electricity systems modelling and simulation, electro-mobility and smart grid standards, energy storage, information & communication, power technology integration