Flexibility of individual heat pumps

Denmark | April 2021 - October 2021

To reach the ambitious Danish climate targets of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 70% in 2030 and become climate neutral by 2050 at the latest, there needs to be a significant reduction in the use of fossil fuels for heating. It is the expectation that heat pump solutions, together with district heating, will play a crucial part. Heat pumps can potentially add flexibility to the energy system and contribute to integrating solar PV and wind power.

The operation can be adapted to the needs of the electricity system to a larger degree with flexible use. As a part of the larger project FUTURE, Gate 21, the Technical University of Denmark, Neogrid Technologies, Andel, REFA, Geodrilling, and Kalundborg Municipality has started a cooperation to demonstrate the intelligent heat solutions of the future in the geographical layout of Lolland Municipality. The goal of the project collaboration is to test and demonstrate, whether heating systems consisting of a heat pump and connected heat storage installed in individual buildings can contribute to integrating electricity from renewable energy and shift energy usage.

The FUTURE project has investigated the options for shifting usage in a small scale with relatively few buildings. To carry out an analysis of the consequences of a greater prevalence of these solutions and put the results into perspective, the FUTURE project has engaged PlanEnergi, EWII, and Ea Energy Analyses.

The analysis focused on two main questions:

  • What are the practical opportunities for contributing to flexibility of individual heat pumps with storage?
  • What is the economical value of this flexibility for society and for the various actors?

It turned out that for smaller buildings with heat pumps there is only a small potential for flexibility in each individual building. If the buildings are grouped together in a larger pool, on the other hand, they will overall be able to provide some flexibility to the electricity market.