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Experts prove proactively boosting power lines’ capacity does not reduce energy costs

The proactive development of electricity lines must essentially result in better living standards

MOSCOW, July 12. /TASS/ An international research team has shown that the proactive development, in particular, the increase in power lines’ carrying capacity which is aimed at lowering energy costs for consumers, might in fact have the opposite effect, the press office of Skoltech said. The results of the study were published in the scientific journal Applied Energy.

The proactive development of the power sector implies that companies set their investment sights on new generating capacities after laying out the power grids. The results of previous investigations have shown that such a proactive development combined with an increase in the lines’ capacity power stimulates further investment in the field and cuts the costs of energy production, while subsequently lowering consumers’ bills and enhancing living standards.

The new study that Skoltech researchers were engaged in proved that increasing the carrying capacity of power lines does not always lead to lower energy costs or better living standards in society, even when considering a possible hike in investment.

"According to modern scientific and technical literature, the proactive development of electricity lines must essentially result in better living standards. However, in our study, we have proven that this might be not the case. There are examples where increasing the carrying capacity of lines have lowered living standards," Professor at Center for Energy Systems at Skoltech David Pozo, a coauthor of the study commented.

The researchers gathered and analyzed information regarding investment relations in the power sector and ascertained that proactive development of power lines and intensive broadening of generating capacities actually harms social standards, with the impact being even more serious than the lack of investment.

"Our conclusions are especially important for large power grids with an extensive network of lines where electrical generation is in the hands of several large power companies. From this point of view, our results might be applied for planning the development of power lines in Russia," Pozo added.