The EU aims to become the world’s first climate-neutral continent by 2050. In order to meet this target, the integration of high shares of Renewable Energy Sources (RESs) in the energy system is of primary importance. Nevertheless, the large deployment of variable renewable sources such as wind and photovoltaic power will pose important challenges in terms of power management. For this reason, increasing the system flexibility will be crucial to ensure the security of supply in future power systems. This work investigates the flexibility potential obtainable from the diffusion of Demand Response (DR) programmes applied to residential heating for different renewables penetration and power system configuration scenarios. To that end, a bottom-up model for residential heat demand and flexible electric heating systems (heat pumps and electric water heaters) is developed and directly integrated into Dispa-SET, an existing unit commitment optimal dispatch model of the power system. The integrated model is calibrated for the case of Belgium and different simulations are performed varying the penetration and type of residential heating technologies, installed renewables capacity and capacity mix. Results show that, at country level, operational cost could be reduced up to €35 million and curtailment up to 1 TWh per year with 1 million flexible electric heating systems installed. These benefits are significantly reduced when nuclear power plants (non-flexible) are replaced by gas-fired units (flexible) and grow when more renewable capacity is added. Moreover, when the number of flexible heating systems increases, a saturation effect of the flexibility is observed.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited