Our most important findings

Grids

  1. 1

    The sustainable energy transition in the heating sector is currently lagging and buildings sector goals are unlikely to be met by 2030.

    Reducing emissions from the current level of 130 million tons of CO2 to between 70 and 72 million tons in the next 11 years will require ramping up all available technologies across the board. These include insulation, heat pumps, heat networks, decentralized renewable energy and power-to-gas. Cherry-picking the various building technologies is no longer an option because of past shortcomings.

  2. 2

    Energy efficiency in existing buildings is a prerequisite for technology neutrality.

    Ensuring adequate competition between various energy supply options such as renewable energy, heat pumps, synthetic fuels and decarbonized heat networks requires reducing final energy consumption by at least a third before 2050. The more efficient a building is, the more realistic any necessary expansion on the generation side will be.

  3. 3

    Power-to-gas can only complement aggressive efficiency policies in the buildings sector, not replace them.

    Synthetic fuels are a significant component of energy supply in all 2050 climate protection scenarios. But their contribution by 2030 is only limited, and even between 2030 and 2050 they are considerably more expensive than most energy efficiency measures in the buildings sector. In addition, the bulk of generation from power-to-gas may be allocated to other markets (industrial processes, shipping, air travel and transport by truck).

  4. 4

    To successfully implement the heating transition, we urgently need a roadmap for promoting energy efficiency in buildings by 2030.

    To this end, a package of policy measures is needed, including changes to relevant laws, regulations and energy tax laws, as well as an overhaul of funding programs. The heating sector goals for 2030 and 2050 can only be met if the installation rate of all building-related climate protection technologies is quadrupled.

  1. 1

    Increased integration between the Nordic countries and Germany will become ever more important as the share of renewables increases. The more renewables enter the system, the higher the value of additional transmission capacity between Nordic countries and Germany will become.

    In particular, additional generation from renewables in the Nordics – reflected in the Nordic electricity balance - will increase the value of transmission capacity. There is a lot of potential for trade, due to hourly differences in wholesale electricity prices throughout the year.

  2. 2

    A closer integration of the Nordic and the German power systems will reduce CO2 emissions due to better utilisation of renewable electricity.

    This is caused by reduced curtailment of renewables, improved integration of additional renewable production sites and increased competitiveness of biomass-fuelled power plants.

  3. 3

    Higher integration will lead to the convergence of wholesale electricity prices between the Nordic countries and Germany. But even with more integration, the Nordic countries will see lower wholesale electricity prices if they deploy large shares of renewables themselves.

    In general, additional integration will lead to slightly higher wholesale electricity prices in the Nordics and to slightly lower prices in Germany. But this will be counteracted by the decreasing price effect that higher wind shares in the Nordics have on the wholesale power market.

  4. 4

    Distributional effects from increased integration are significantly higher across stakeholder groups within countries than between countries.

    This strongly impacts the incentives of market players such as electricity producers or consumers (e.g., energy-intensive industries) for or against increased integration. Distributiona leffects need to be taken into account for creating public acceptance for new lines and for the cross-border allocation of network investments.

  1. 1

    Increased integration between the Nordic countries and Germany will become ever more important as the share of renewables increases. The more renewables enter the system, the higher the value of additional transmission capacity between Nordic countries and Germany will become.

    In particular, additional generation from renewables in the Nordics – reflected in the Nordic electricity balance - will increase the value of transmission capacity. There is a lot of potential for trade, due to hourly differences in wholesale electricity prices throughout the year.

  2. 2

    A closer integration of the Nordic and the German power systems will reduce CO2 emissions due to better utilisation of renewable electricity.

    This is caused by reduced curtailment of renewables, improved integration of additional renewable production sites and increased competitiveness of biomass-fuelled power plants.22

  3. 3

    Higher integration will lead to the convergence of wholesale electricity prices between the Nordic countries and Germany. But even with more integration, the Nordic countries will see lower wholesale electricity prices if they deploy large shares of renewables themselves.

    In general, additional integration will lead to slightly higher wholesale electricity prices in the Nordics and to slightly lower prices in Germany. But this will be counteracted by the decreasing price effect that higher wind shares in the Nordics have on the wholesale power market.3

  4. 4

    Distributional effects from increased integration are significantly higher across stakeholder groups within countries than between countries.

    This strongly impacts the incentives of market players such as electricity producers or consumers (e.g., energy-intensive industries) for or against increased integration. Distributiona leffects need to be taken into account for creating public acceptance for new lines and for the cross-border allocation of network investments.

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