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Assessing the optimal use of electric heating systems for integrating renewable energy sources

: Boßmann, Tobias; Elsland, Rainer; Klingler, Anna-Lena; Catenazzi, Giacomo; Jakob, Martin

Fulltext urn:nbn:de:0011-n-3750707 (980 KByte PDF)
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Created on: 3.2.2016

Energy Procedia 83 (2015), pp.130-139
ISSN: 1876-6102
International Conference on Sustainability in Energy and Buildings (SEB) <7, 2015, Lisbon>
Journal Article, Conference Paper, Electronic Publication
Fraunhofer ISI ()
bottom-up modelling; energy system analysis; heating energy demand; scenario analysis; demand side response

In order to decarbonise the energy system, alternative transition pathways were assessed in recent years that agree on the crucial role of the heating sector, due to its potential to increase the renewable-based share of energy demand and to improve energy efficiency. Simultaneously, the increasing share of fluctuating renewable energy sources (RES), such as wind and photovoltaic, raises the hourly volatility in the energy system and challenges energy utilities. To balance energy demand and RES in an optimal manner storage-based heating systems can be used as flexible loads. This study discusses to what extent smart residential heating systems can contribute to the integration of RES and quantifies the trade-off between electricity savings and flexibility provision, when replacing storage heaters by heat pumps. To answer these research questions a simulation-based scenario analysis is conducted until 2050 encompassing France, Germany and the United Kingdom. These countries are of specific interest due to their substantial share of electric heating as well as their exponentially rising wind and photovoltaic (PV) generation capacities. The study reveals that the long-term potential of heating technologies for the integration of RES is relatively limited in countries such as France or Germany, given the improved insulation of buildings and the seasonal offset between PV generation and heat demand. However, in the short- to medium-term, or in countries with low shares of PV generation but high shares of wind power (such as the UK), heating technologies may facilitate the integration of RES, especially in the absence of alternative flexibility options.