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This work presents the results of thermal-electric simulations of coated conductors with systematic variations of the buffer layers electrical conductivity. As boundary conditions liquid nitrogen (LN2) cooling and an overcritical current density are used. For the simulations the commercially available 3D finite element program ANSYS, which was enhanced with a superconducting element, is used. The simulations are carried out with a virtual buffer layer, for the purpose of material selection, under the aspect of use for electrical power applications. The results help to clarify the influence of the conductivity of the buffer layer on the thermal-electric behavior of a high temperature superconductor. In addition the equations used to program the HTS element are described.