Global Electricity Trade Network: Structures and Implications

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Nations increasingly trade electricity, and understanding the structure of the global power grid can help identify nations that are critical for its reliability. This study examines the global grid as a network with nations as nodes and international electricity trade as links. We analyze the structure of the global electricity trade network and find that the network consists of four sub-networks, and provide a detailed analysis of the largest network, Eurasia. Russia, China, Ukraine, and Azerbaijan have high betweenness measures in the Eurasian sub-network, indicating the degrees of centrality of the positions they hold. The analysis reveals that the Eurasian sub-network consists of seven communities based on the network structure. We find that the communities do not fully align with geographical proximity, and that the present international electricity trade in the Eurasian sub-network causes an approximately 11 million additional tons of CO2 emissions.

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Publication Type: 
Journal Article
Date Published: 
August 9, 2016
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Ji L, Jia X, Chiu ASF, Xu M (2016) Global Electricity Trade Network: Structures and Implications. PLoS ONE 11(8): e0160869. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0160869
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