Enhancing Decarbonization of Power Generation Through Electricity Trade in the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East Region
25 Pages Posted: 22 Sep 2022
The region of the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East (EMME) is one with highly diverse socioeconomic conditions. It is split between countries with rich fossil fuel reserves, which are net energy exporters, and countries that rely to a large extent on energy imports to satisfy their domestic demand. Despite the abundant renewable energy resources, especially for wind and solar, in 2019 renewable energy accounted for merely 12% of the total electricity generation across the region. The present effort aims to highlight the potential benefits offered by a future enhancement in electricity trade between EMME countries; this could unlock the currently unexploited renewable energy resources of the region. A model representing the national electricity supply system of seventeen EMME countries is developed in a cost-optimisation modelling framework (OSeMOSYS). This is then used to project cost-optimal development pathways for the respective energy systems, by assessing alternative scenarios where regional trade is limited or enhanced. Comparison of a set of scenarios is conducted to quantify implications in terms of renewable energy deployment, greenhouse gas emissions and overall system costs. The scenario results can assist in the quantification of the potential for specific countries to become net exporters of carbon-neutral electricity, as well as the identification of markets for electricity imports within the region. The role of key transit countries for electricity trade will also be discussed.
Keywords: electricity trade, renewable energy, cost-optimisation, decarbonisation
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