Deep decarbonization in Northeastern North America: The value of electricity market integration and hydropower

This article was published in the March 2021 edition of the journal Energy Policy by the authors Jesús A. Rodríguez-Sarasty, Sebastien Debia and Pierre-Olivier Pineau of the Department of Decision Sciences at HEC Montréal, thanks to the financial support of the Institut de l’énergie Trottier and the Trottier Family Foundation.

Electricity systems are under strong decarbonization pressure. Canadian provinces of Quebec and Ontario as well as the states of the northeastern United States have committed to cut their greenhouse emissions by more than 70% (with respect to emission levels of 1990). Increased collaboration and integration between jurisdictions could decrease such decarbonization costs, especially when important hydropower resources are available.

Using a capacity expansion and dispatch model of the Northeastern North American electricity sector, the authors analyze the impact of emission reduction targets, load levels and availability of power technologies in a range of scenarios, in order to assess the benefits of regional cooperation.