New generation power networks and climate change: the economic potential of national and trans-national Super-Grids.
12:00 - 13:30
This paper aims at evaluating the changes in the policy costs and in the electricity mix when the Super-Grid is added to the portfolio of available technological options to reduce the carbon footprint of the electricity sector. We extend the WITCH model so that it is able to consider the possibility to produce and trade electricity generated by large scale concentrated solar power (CSP) plants in highly productive areas. We find that, if countries do not take into account the positive externalities on investment costs of a common deployment of CSP power, it becomes optimal to produce with this source only from 2040 and trade from 2050. If instead there is cooperation, it is optimal to anticipate deployment. In the second half of the century, CSP electricity shares become very significant especially when penetration limits are imposed on nuclear power and CCS operations. In the case of a 535ppm CO2-eq stabilization policy, CSP shares reach, in 2100, 17%, 38%, 91%, 74% and 65% of total electricity consumption for Western Europe, Eastern Europe, MENA, USA and China, respectively. Climate policy costs can be reduced by large percentages, up to 50% with respect to corresponding scenarios without the CSP-powered Super-Grid option.