Costs of Regional Equity and Autarky in a Renewable European Power System

Social acceptance is a multifaceted consideration when planning future energy systems, yet often challenging to address endogeneously. One key aspect regards the spatial distribution of investments. Here, I evaluate the cost impact and changes in optimal system composition when development of infrastructure is more evenly shared among countries and regions in a fully renewable European power system. I deliberately deviate from the resource-induced cost optimum towards more equitable and self-sufficient solutions in terms of power generation. The analysis employs the open optimisation model PyPSA-Eur. I show that cost optimal solutions lead to very inhomogenous distributions of assets, but more uniform expansion plans can be achieved on a national level at little additional expense below 4%. Yet completely autarkic solutions, without power transmission, appear much more costly.

Fabian Neumann
PhD Student in Energy System Modelling

My research interests evolve around renewable energy networks, energy system modelling, sector coupling, large-scale optimisation and energy technologies.