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The impact of hybrid layout in North Seas electricity projects in a 2030 European scenario

With the ratification of the Paris Agreement in September 2016, the European Union aims to lead global efforts to put the world on track to avoid dangerous climate change consequences. This will has been further confirmed in the European Commission's long term strategy to reach climate-neutrality by 2050. The implementation of an effective long term decarbonisation strategy cannot be separated by the deployment of renewable energy sources and the realisation of cross-border electricity projects: this is particular relevant for the North Sea area, where governments of the relevant countries have opted for an energy cooperation strategy creating suitable conditions for the development of offshore wind energy.
As European Commission's science and knowledge service, the JRC has been requested to perform modelling and analytical support to identify EU-wide potential benefits in the operation of selected generation and transmission assets in the North Seas as they were realised in hybrid configuration (i.e. synergic planning and commissioning of both generation and transmission assets) by 2030. In order to perform this task, the METIS tool – able to simulate the operation of energy systems and markets on an hourly basis over a year – has been used. The base scenario in mainly based on the European Commission's EUCO30 2030 scenario: some study-specific modifications concern the update of expected transmission capacities in 2030 as well as in the installed capacity values for offshore wind power. In the context of the analysis, the benefit indicators considered are consistent with the ones identified by the European Network of Transmission System Operators (ENTSO-E) in its cost-benefit analysis guidelines.