Actual transmission of electricity between the model countries in the base year is taken from the IEA Electricity Statistics Database. However, the IEA does not have full datasets for the non-OECD countries among the model countries, so ENTSO-E has been used to complete the picture. The trade in the base year is also adjusted to ensure that net demand in each model country is in accordance with the energy balance given in the IEA Extended Energy Balances.
The transmission capacities between the model countries are based on ENTSO-E, supplemented by NORDEL for the Nordic countries. ENTSO-E provides a matrix of “Indicative values for net transfer capacities (NTC) in Europe”. It is difficult to estimate feasible transmission capacities in an electricity network, partly because all networks have weak parts that restrain feasible capacity and partly due to loop flow. ENTSO-E provides a “maximum import/export number" (in MW) for some of the countries, which is much lower than reported nominal capacities between countries. This difference reflects the capacity constraints. Based on the available data from ENTSO-E for 2009 and the sources used in 2000-version of LIBEMOD, it is assumed that for all alternating current (AC) transmission lines the feasible capacity is set to 50 % of the nominal capacity, whereas for direct current (DC) cables it is assumed that the feasible capacity is equal to the nominal capacity. Sea cables are typically DC.
The costs of constructing new transmission lines and sea cables (used in the long-run version of the model) are based on Statnett (2006, 2008 & 2010), DENA (2011) and costs from the BritNed project (2012). For transmission lines we have cost data from Norwegian projects (Ørskog-Farland and Namsos-Roan) from Statnett (2006, 2010), and for Germany from DENA (2011). These sources range between 250 and 550 €/MW per kilometre for variable costs, whereas fixed costs are around 0.02 M€/MW. In the model we use 500 €/MW for variable costs and 0.02 M€/MW for fixed costs.
For sea cables Statnett (2008, 2011) provide data from the Skagerak 4 project and the NordLink/NorGer projects. We also have total costs for BritNed, the sea cable between the UK and the Netherlands that was finalised in 2011 (BritNed 2012). These sources give a range for variable costs between 1100 and 1600 €/MW per kilometre, and fixed costs between 0.16 and 0.18 M€/MW. In the model 1500 €/MW per kilometre is assumed for variable costs and 0.2 M€/MW for fixed costs. These data are combined with distances onshore and offshore between the model countries to create a matrix of costs.
Transmission lines are assumed to have a loss factor of 2 %, while the loss factor for sea cables is 3 %. This is in line with Amundsen and Tjøtta (1997), which for most transmission lines use a loss factor of 2 %. Data on investment costs from Statnett (2006, 2008 & 2010) has been used to find the operating and maintenance costs for transmission of electricity. The O&M costs are assumed to consist of a fixed and a variable element. For onshore cables the total O&M cost is 1.5 % of the total onshore investment costs, whereas for sea cables it is 5 % of the capital costs.
Estimates for the costs of national transport and distribution are mainly taken from the Household Energy Price Index, which covers EU 15 (E-Control/VaasaETT, 2012). For the remaining model countries, the national reporting for the 2010 ERGEG Status Review on the Liberalisation and Implementation of the Regulatory Framework has been used. Both publications provide a breakdown of domestic consumers’ electricity bills including distribution costs for 2009. For the industry sector data from Eurostat for EU27 and Norway (Eurostat 2010) was used. IEA has data for domestic losses in 2009. In the model it is assumed that the transport losses associated with the industry sector are 2 % and the residual loss is allocated to the household and service sector.