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Symposium 2010

Towards a Global Electricity Market

The Challenge

In principle, solar and wind are more than enough to deliver any amount of energy that the world’s population might need. But these sources are usually best exploited in areas that are far from centers of demand. It is technologically challenging to transport electricity over large distances and even more to store it. As a consequence, electricity markets have tended to develop as regional markets.

To change this, proposals have been made recently to generate electricity by other means. One example is building large-scale solar thermal power plants in North Africa and transporting the output through high voltage direct current power lines to the demand centers in Europe. Projections claim that by 2050, 700 TWh electricity per year (roughly a quarter of European electricity demand in 2006) could be transmitted, raising yearly revenues of €35 billion. Another example is the January 2010 agreement by several European countries adjacent to the North Sea to connect their production of wind energy.

Yet projections suggest that in the medium term the future energy mix for electricity generation will still contain fossil energy and nuclear power. The share of fossil energy in the future energy mix strongly depends on the implementation of low-carbon technologies such as carbon capture and storage and the ability to substitute low-carbon for high-carbon energy sources. Nuclear power will also constitute an important option due to its provision of emission-free power, but there remain major concerns about its use.

What are the options for the future energy mix for electricity generation and how is it influenced by public policy? What is the appropriate time frame for implementation to avert serious consequences of climate change? And are large-scale supranational projects for electricity generation a sensible and financially viable strategy for governments and the private sector to prepare for a carbon-free future?

    Solutions

    Solution
    Symposium 2010

    Achieve a legally binding climate treaty quickly.

    Achieve a legally binding climate treaty quickly.

    Achieve a legally binding climate treaty quickly.

    Polity
    Solution
    Symposium 2010

    Implement smart grid technology by empowering energy supply, distribution and consumption with two-way information and communication technologies.

    Implement smart grid technology by empowering energy supply, distribution and consumption with two-way information and communication technologies.

    Implement smart grid technology by empowering energy supply, distribution and consumption with two-way information and communication technologies.

    Polity, Business
    Solution
    Symposium 2010

    Governments must cut subsidies for fossil-fuel-based electricity generation, especially in emerging demand centers.

    Governments must cut subsidies for fossil-fuel-based electricity generation, especially in emerging demand centers.

    Governments must cut subsidies for fossil-fuel-based electricity generation, especially in emerging demand centers.

    Polity
    Solution
    Symposium 2010

    Integrate electricity grids supranationally.

    Integrate electricity grids supranationally.

    Integrate electricity grids supranationally.

    Polity, Business
    Solution
    Symposium 2010

    Create a supranational grid regulator for the envisaged supranational markets.

    Create a supranational grid regulator for the envisaged supranational markets.

    Create a supranational grid regulator for the envisaged supranational markets.

    Polity
    Solution
    Symposium 2010

    Attract institutional investors to finance grid development.

    Attract institutional investors to finance grid development.

    Attract institutional investors to finance grid development.

    Business
    Solution
    Symposium 2010

    Implement off-grid electricity generation devices in underdeveloped areas without access to electricity grids.

    Implement off-grid electricity generation devices in underdeveloped areas without access to electricity grids.

    Implement off-grid electricity generation devices in underdeveloped areas without access to electricity grids.

    Polity, Business

    Proposals

    Proposal
    Symposium 2010

    Towards Efficient, Clean, and Innnovative Electricity Markets

    1. By 2050, electricity should provide a much greater share of our energy needs and should be produced entirely by renewable energy sources. Electricity is the most efficient energy carrier, and can b ...

    1. By 2050, electricity should provide a much greater share of our energy needs and should be produced entirely by renewable energy sources. Electricity is the most efficient energy carrier, and can be produced by renewable sources, so a sustainable energy future requires increased electrification – of car and train transportation, for example, and buildings. It requires sophisticated efforts to reduce and manage demand. It also requires a massive effort to drive renewable energy into the system, from large-scale solar, wind and geothermal projects and from decentralized production. 2. Success will require development of super-smart integrated grids in key regions. There is

    Polity, Academia, Business, Civil Society
    Proposal
    Symposium 2010

    Towards a Global Electricity Market

    Opening up markets to foreign competition Smart grids across borders Optimization in generation and distribution at least on a regional basis

    Opening up markets to foreign competition Smart grids across borders Optimization in generation and distribution at least on a regional basis

    Polity, Business
    Proposal
    Symposium 2010

    Towards a Global Electricity Market

    Increase power grid capacity and interconnect national power grids. A vigorous effort to increase power grid capacity and interlink national power grids would lead to larger electricity markets. Overa ...

    Increase power grid capacity and interconnect national power grids. A vigorous effort to increase power grid capacity and interlink national power grids would lead to larger electricity markets. Overall volatility in the provision of renewable electricity would be reduced, increasing renewable base load capacity. Power suppliers might at the same time be able to reduce overall reserve capacity, thus cutting costs for power from all sources, including fossil fuels. Establish renewable large-scale projects. Interconnected grids would not only allow for increased base load use of existing renewables, which are often of a small scale compared to fossil fuel plants. They

    Polity, Academia, Business, Civil Society
    Proposal
    Symposium 2010

    Global Electricity Market

    In the long run, the most sustainable forms of power generation, solar and wind, will drive the electricity system. Achieving a system based on these resources will require an integrated network that ...

    In the long run, the most sustainable forms of power generation, solar and wind, will drive the electricity system. Achieving a system based on these resources will require an integrated network that delivers energy over transmission infrastructure from sources that are often far from demand centers. In broad scope, the technological requirements for such a system are readily identifiable. These include storage, improved transmission and increasing energy conversion efficiency. The system design challenges are not minor, however, and will engage the engineering community significantly. I will focus my remarks on the institutional challenges. In one way or another, electricity has

    Polity, Academia, Business, Civil Society
    Proposal
    Symposium 2010

    Sustainable Energy Transmission – Challenges and Visions

    Pathetic as it may sound, we should realise that our entire civilisation depends on energy services, especially electricity. In a recent edition, The Economist has published the following statement fr ...

    Pathetic as it may sound, we should realise that our entire civilisation depends on energy services, especially electricity. In a recent edition, The Economist has published the following statement from America’s National Academy of Engineering: Neither the car nor the computer have been the biggest engineering accomplishments of the 20th century, but the large distribution of electricity via national grids (The Economist, 10.10.2009, pg. 69). Now, we are living in another century and this leads to me my 1st thesis: Today we are facing a fundamental change in the way grids are designed, built and managed. The configuration of

    Polity, Business

    Implemen- tations

    Implementation
    Symposium 2010

    Alliance for Rural Electrification (ARE)

    Polity, Academia, Business, Civil Society
    Implementation
    Symposium 2010

    ENTSOE—European Electricity Grid Initiative and GRID+ Project

    Polity, Academia, Business, Civil Society