The economy-wide effects of large-scale renewable electricity expansion in Europe: The role of integration costs
With the increasing share of renewables in electricity generation in Europe, implied economy-wide macroeconomic feedbacks and spill-over effects to other sectors and actors are of rising importance. We quantify the macroeconomic effects of a large-scale expansion of wind and photovoltaics (PV) in Europe, employing a global multi-regional multi-sectoral computable general equilibrium (CGE) model. We place special emphasis on electricity market integration costs, which have so far been neglected not only in most bottom-up technology comparisons, but also in macroeconomic studies. We find that the societal welfare effects of a large-scale expansion of wind and PV tend to be positive; however, when integration costs are taken into account, positive welfare effects are either much smaller or even become negative, depending very much on regional characteristics, such as the prevailing electricity mix, weighted average costs of capital (WACC) or capacity factors. We also show that macroeconomic feedback effects raise generation costs above what is anticipated from a bottom-up perspective, since the high capital intensities of renewable electricity generation technologies drive up economy-wide capital prices. This may imply that they are no longer competitive when installed at large-scales.
Bachner, G., Steininger, K. W., Williges, K. und Tuerk, A. (2018): The economy-wide effects of large-scale renewable electricity expansion in Europe: The role of integration costs, in: Renewable Energy, pp. 1-12, doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.renene.2018.09.052 [19.9.2018].
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