Heat Sector - Investigation of the Overall Energy Network with increasing Regenerative Supply and Analysis of the System Coupling

Project Leader: Professor Dr-Ing Alfons Kather
Duration:  01.12.2016- 31.03.2021

The reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 80 % until 2050 in comparison to 1990 is one goal postulated by the European Union. Thereby, the share of renewable energies contributing to the electricity mix needs to be increased further. Considering that the goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions applies nationwide it is not enough to concentrate actions only on emissions from electricity generation. Therefore, this project focusses on interactions between the three main sectors (electricity, heat and mobility) regarding CO2 emissions and the need for energy storage in the future.

At present the share of renewables is quite low in the heat and mobility sector, compared to the electricity sector. To reach the goal of 80 % CO2 reduction, an increased renewables share in these sectors is essential. Through interaction between the three sectors synergy benefits can arise. Solutions like heat pumps or e-mobility are examples of how CO2 emissions can be reduced by combining electricity generation with other sectors.

The present sub-project investigates the integration of fluctuating renewable energy into the decentralised heat sector. Different scenarios and development trends for the installed plants are evaluated in the route towards reaching the stipulated emission goals for 2050. Hereby the interaction with the other sectors electricity and mobility are key elements in the investigation. Besides storage, the electrification of the heat sector through heat pump and power-to-heat technologies plays an especially important role, offering an effective and cost-efficient method for the integration of renewable energy. Also cross-sectoral synergies with technologies like power-to-gas, which enables a long-term storage of excess electricity in the form of gas, are intensively researched.