Economic Analysis of Power Grid Interconnections Among Europe, North-East Asia, and North America With 100% Renewable Energy Generation
03 Jun 2021
Cong Wu, Xiao-Ping Zhang, and Michael J. H. Sterling
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In this paper, we investigate whether the interconnection of power grids with 100% renewable energy generation can bring greater economic benefits now that the technology exists for high power, long distance Ultra High Voltage Direct Current transmission. Based on multi-year historical weather data and demand series, this study compares eight interconnection schemes for three regional grids in Europe, North-East Asia, and North America where there is around 8-hour time difference between any of the two regions. Sensitivity analyses are presented with respect to infrastructure capital cost and different weather year which show that interconnection yields a reduction of approximately 18% in the total annual system cost. The results in this paper also indicate that the regional levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) drops by 31%, 10%, and 10% for Europe, North-East Asia and North America, respectively. It is concluded that there is a strong incentive through both annual cost saving and regional LCOE drop in favour of full long-distance interconnections between the three regions in the context of the international drive towards a net-zero strategy.