Influence of heat pumps on renewable electricity integration: Germany in a European context
Reducing CO2 emissions, as targeted by the European Union, requires the substitution of fossil fuels with renewable energies. This reduces the CO2 intensity of electricity generation and this low carbon electricity can then be used in other sectors, e.g. to decarbonize heating. Besides contributing to emission savings, this so-called sector coupling provides additional flexibility in the electricity sector and fosters the integration of renewable energies. We assess how heat pumps in district heating grids contribute to renewable electricity integration. We analyze different scenarios using the Enertile model, which optimizes capacities and dispatch of electricity and heat generation simultaneously. The results show that, the higher the achieved levels of decarbonization and renewable electricity, the more competitive heat pumps become in heating grids.