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.

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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.