Are current regionalisation approaches sufficient to decompose electricity demand? - A German case study
Developing strategies to deal with the challenges of the energy system transition requires a detailed understanding of electricity demand with a high regional resolution. From a methodological point of view, some concepts have been developed in recent years to map national electricity demand on a district, municipality or even grid node level. In principle, these approaches distribute national electricity demand based on relatively simplified indicators (e.g. electricity demand per gross domestic product). These methods, however, ignore the structural composition of the demand in terms of sectoral and technological heterogeneity. This study aims to contribute to this research field by developing a new approach to allocate national electricity demand at a district/municipality level distinguished by demand side sector and technology, while taking structural change over time into account. To benchmark the concept developed, a case study is conducted that compares the results to the findings of a conventional approach based on simplified distribution keys for Germany up to 2035. The analysis reveals that a missing level of granularity in terms of the structural composition of electricity demand can lead to systematically different conclusions, for instance, in some of the larger cities.