FEEM working papers "Note di lavoro" series
2011 .047

Super-Grids and Concentrated Solar Power: A Scenario Analysis with the WITCH Model


Authors: Emanuele Massetti, Elena Claire Ricci
Series: Climate Change and Sustainable Development
Editor: Carlo Carraro
Type: Journal
Keywords: Climate Policy, Integrated Assessment, Renewable Energy, Concentrated Solar Power, Power Grid, Electricity Trade
JEL n.: Q2, Q43 , Q54
JEL: Energy Economics
Pages: Volume 38, Pages 186-203
Date: 07/2013

Abstract

We extend the WITCH model to consider the possibility to produce and trade electricity generated by large scale concentrated solar power plants in highly productive areas that are connected to the demand centres through High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) cables. We find that it becomes optimal to produce with this source only from 2040 and trade from 2050. In the second half of the century, CSP electricity shares become very significant especially when penetration limits are imposed on nuclear power and on carbon capture and storage operations (CCS). Climate policy costs can be reduced by large percentages, up to 66% with respect to corresponding scenarios without the CSP-powered Super-Grid option and with limits on nuclear power and CCS. We also show that MENA countries have the incentive to form a cartel to sell electricity to Europe at a price higher than the marginal cost. Therefore we advocate the institution of an international agency with the role to regulate a hypothetic Mediterranean electricity market.

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Suggested citation: Emanuele Massetti, Elena Claire Ricci, An assessment of the optimal timing and size of investments in concentrated solar power, Energy Economics, Volume 38, July 2013, Pages 186-203, ISSN 0140-9883, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.eneco.2013.02.012

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