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Analysis of dependencies between gas and electricity distribution grid planning and building energy retrofit decisions

: Then, D.; Hein, P.; Kneiske, T.M.; Braun, M.

Volltext ()

Sustainability 12 (2020), Nr.13, Art. 5315, 44 S.
ISSN: 2071-1050
Zeitschriftenaufsatz, Elektronische Publikation
Fraunhofer IEE ()

Most macroeconomic studies predict a decline in final energy demand and the use of natural gas in the heating sector in Europe. In the course of building retrofitting, gas-based heating systems are predominantly replaced by electricity-based solutions. This influences the business models of electricity and especially gas distribution network operators (DNOs), where grid charges tend to rise. The resulting feedback effect could accelerate the decrease of demand and finally lead to the defection of the gas grid-an effect that has been neglected in energy system analysis so far. We present a multi-agent simulation with a rule-based gas and electricity DNO model and a building retrofit optimization model to analyze these interdependencies during the transformation path, focusing on the role of different technical, economic, and regulatory triggers. Our case studies for a real grid area of a German city shows that an interplay of the gas and electricity DNO's strategy, as well as the building-, heating system-, grid-, and trigger-configuration, determine the decision on the extension, continuation, or defection of the gas grid infrastructure. Finally, strategies for how to reduce the risk of a gas grid defection, which are relevant for DNOs, policy makers, and creators of macro-economic models, are discussed.