Electric power grid interconnections in Northeast Asia: A quantitative analysis of opportunities and challenges

Takashi Otsuki, Aishah Binti Mohd Isa, Ralph D. Samuelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

30 Citations (Scopus)


Power grid interconnection has gained attention in Northeast Asia (NEA) as a means to build an economically efficient power system and to effectively utilize renewable energy, such as wind and solar resources in the Gobi Desert and hydro resources in Eastern Russia.In order to quantify the potential economic and environmental benefits from connecting power grids and developing renewables in NEA, we build an NEA-wide multi-region power system model using linear programming techniques. Our analysis considers power system characteristics, such as the seasonal and daily electric load curves of the various NEA economies.Compared to a "no grid extension" scenario, increased access to renewables contributes significantly to emissions reductions and fuel cost savings. However, the results imply modest benefits in lowering total cost because of the large initial investments needed in developing the renewables and the transmission lines. These limited total cost savings are likely to pose an implementation challenge for NEA grid interconnections. Our results also suggest that grid interconnections become more economically attractive in higher fuel price or lower initial cost situations. The relevant planning organizations should carefully consider the initial cost and future fuel price trends when considering how to interconnect power girds in an economical manner.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)311-329
Number of pages19
JournalEnergy Policy
Publication statusPublished - 01 Feb 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Energy(all)
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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