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WIREs Energy Environ.
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System effects of high demand‐side electrification rates: A scenario analysis for Germany in 2030

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The substitution of fossil fueled final energy consumption through electrical appliances and processes (electrification), in combination with an increased share of emission free electricity production, poses a promising deep decarbonization strategy. To reveal the effect of high demand‐side electrification rates on the transmission grid and electricity supply‐side a case‐study analysis for the German market is performed. A reference scenario with low demand‐side electrification and low grid congestion is compared to high demand‐side electrification scenarios with two different shares of renewable electricity production of total electrical load: “Elec61” and “Elec75.” The analysis shows that an increase of the electrical load from ~500 TWh to ~760 TWh leads to heightened stress for the transmission grid and therefore more curtailment in both electrification scenarios. In Elec61, which exhibits the same share of renewable electricity production as the reference scenario, the integration of 19 TWh of flexible power‐to‐heat in district heating networks reduces the market driven curtailment of renewable feed‐in, highlighting the value of flexible electrical loads for the integration of variable renewable energy sources. Although a drastic increase of installed renewable electricity production capacity occurs in Elec61 (+109 GW) and Elec75 (+178 GW) compared to the reference scenario, fossil fueled power plants are still being dispatched frequently in times of high electrical load and low renewable energy feed. In the examined scenarios, deep decarbonization through electrification was not possible because the decrease of the CO2‐coefficient of power generation resulting from an increase in the installed capacity of variable renewable energy sources was insufficient. This article is categorized under: Wind Power > Systems and Infrastructure Energy and Climate > Systems and Infrastructure Energy Systems Analysis > Systems and Infrastructure
Sectoral final energy consumption and theoretical electrification potential by energy carrier and end‐use application in 2015 in TWh (BMWI, ; Guminski & von Roon, )
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(a) Costs and effect of grid expansion measures on congestion management volumes in TWh (b) grid driven curtailment as a share of renewable energy sources (RES)
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Curtailment and redispatch due to increased electrification in TWh
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Upgraded transmission lines and congestion management volumes in Germany and Austria for the scenario (a) Ref61, (b) Elec61 and (c) Elec75
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For Germany and Austria in 2030 (a) absolute change in electrical power generation in TWh (b) CO2‐coefficient of power generation in g/kWh (c) and generation capacity gap in GW and virtual electricity generation in TWh
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Connection between scenario construction and the energy system model ISAaR
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Demand‐side electrification assumptions, methodology and results
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