North Sea region energy system towards 2050: Offshore grid and sector coupling drive offshore wind installations

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The North Sea offers high offshore wind power potential. In addition, several existing and planned transmission lines are located in the region. This paper models a meshed offshore grid in the North Sea to investigate the viability of connecting transmission and offshore wind generation investments. Generation and transmission investments, both onshore and offshore, and storage, are optimized to reach an integrated offshore grid scenario towards 2050 for the region. For comparison, a project-based scenario, where each offshore wind power plant is connected individually, is also analysed. The two scenarios are compared with focus on costs and variable renewable energy (VRE) shares.

This paper studies also the expected effects of sector coupling in the North Sea region. Electricity and heating sectors are optimized jointly towards 2050, with electrification of industry, district heating expansion and electric vehicle penetration considered. Electrification increases electricity consumption; however, the heating sector has also potential to provide flexibility to the system. The results show that sector coupling drives renewable energy investments higher, with offshore wind capacities significantly increased, helping Europe towards decarbonizing the whole energy system. Sector coupling can also provide flexibility to the power system, e.g., in utilizing heating sector flexibility. However, markets need to be highly integrated to reach these benefits.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2019
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2019
EventWindEurope Offshore 2019: Our energy, our future - Bella Center, Copenhagen, Denmark
Duration: 26 Nov 201928 Nov 2019


ConferenceWindEurope Offshore 2019
LocationBella Center
Internet address


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