Implications of intercontinental renewable electricity trade for energy systems and emissions

Guo, F. ORCID:, van Ruijven, B. ORCID:, Zakeri, B. ORCID:, Zhang, S., Chen, X., Liu, C., Yang, F., Krey, V. ORCID:, et al. (2022). Implications of intercontinental renewable electricity trade for energy systems and emissions. Nature Energy 10.1038/s41560-022-01136-0.

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A rapid global energy transition, including the ramping up of electricity generation from renewables, is needed to limit global warming to 2 °C or 1.5 °C. However, renewable resource endowments vary widely between regions, and renewable electricity is currently mainly used locally. Here we use a global integrated assessment model to explore the implications of renewable electricity trade via a set of planned direct-current-type ultra-high-voltage (UHVDC) transmission lines for global energy transition and climate change. We find that renewable electricity trade across large world regions via the underlying UHVDC interconnection can boost renewable electricity production and reduce 2020–2100 cumulative CO2 emissions from the power sector up to 9.8%. Financial investments in the UHVDC lines are offset in the long term by reduced investments in other electricity-generation options, including nuclear and storage. Finally, we find that renewable electricity trade can substantially reduce air pollutant emissions in importing regions.

Item Type: Article
Research Programs: Energy, Climate, and Environment (ECE)
Energy, Climate, and Environment (ECE) > Integrated Assessment and Climate Change (IACC)
Energy, Climate, and Environment (ECE) > Sustainable Service Systems (S3)
Depositing User: Luke Kirwan
Date Deposited: 02 Nov 2022 10:37
Last Modified: 02 Nov 2022 10:37

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