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South East Europe electricity roadmap – modelling energy transition in the electricity sectors
- Szabó, László, Kelemen, Ágnes, Mezősi, András, Pató, Zsuzsanna, Kácsor, Enikő, Resch, Gustav, Liebmann, Lukas
- Climate policy 2019 v.19 no.4 pp. 495-510
- European Union, age structure, carbon, carbon dioxide, carbon markets, decision making, electric power industry, electricity, energy, energy policy, environmental policy, greenhouse gas emissions, greenhouse gases, models, natural gas, planning, renewable energy sources, Europe
- One of the most important challenges for the South East Europe region will be replacing more than 30% of its presently installed fossil fuel generation capacity by the end of 2030, and more than 95% by 2050 if its age structure is considered. This requires a strong policy framework to incentivise new investments in a region currently lacking investors, but also presents an opportunity to shape the electricity sector over the long term according to the broader energy transition strategy of the EU and the Energy Community. The aim of this paper is to assess what type of long-term pathways exist for electricity sector development in the region if they follow the energy transition process of the EU. In this model-based scenario assessment, long term electricity sector futures are explored using a set of interlinked electricity models evaluating the level of renewable energy investment required in the region to reach a deep decarbonization target, assuming emission reduction above 94% by 2050 compared to 1990 in line with the long term market integration and climate policy goals of the EU. It also explores what are the most important system wide impacts of the high deployment of renewable energy concerning generation adequacy and security of supply. Key policy insights Energy policies in the South East Europe (SEE) region, both at the national and regional level, should focus on enabling renewable energy integration, as this will be a key component of the future energy mix. EU and Energy Community policies should be incorporated into national energy planning to ensure that SEE countries embark on the energy transition process at an early stage. Stranded costs should be carefully considered in decision-making on new fossil-fuel generation and gas network investment in order to avoid lock-in to carbon intensive technologies. If consistent decarbonization policy prevails, with a significant and persistent CO2 price signal, the role of natural gas remains transitory in the region. The SEE region offers relatively cheap decarbonization options: the power sector can reduce GHG emissions above 94% by 2050 in the modelled scenarios.