Sector Coupling Changes Distribution Network

Industry News – August 9, 2021

The transition of the electrical energy supply in Germany from conventional power plants to renewable sources of energy is a huge challenge for the distribution networks of many municipal utilities.

More PV installations, more e-mobility, increased use of heat pumps and CHP plants: The power grid of the future has to perform differently and therefore has to be planned and operated differently, too. This is why the Research Center for Power Grids and Energy Storage (FENES) at the East Bavarian Technical University of Applied Sciences in Regensburg (OTH Regensburg) is developing a plan for a technically and economically sustainable network as part of the city distribution grid. It is part of the STROM research association, in which universities, municipal enterprises and industry partners from all over Bavaria are involved. The Bavarian Research Foundation is funding the project with around €1.9 billion.

The research association specifically focuses on coupling the heating and transportation sectors in order to replace fossil fuels with renewable power. The project name STROM stands for Energy – SecToR cOupling and Micro-grids”. The research is to show how the coupling of the heating and transportation sectors with the electricity sector impact the power grid. It should also shed light on which changes arise during power grid construction and in consumer behavior. The project partners also want to get into the nitty gritty of network planning measures and analyze the benefits of storage systems for optimization in municipal utilities. Project results should provide recommendations for further action as well as the development of general guidelines for distribution network operators.

The project brings together researchers from the Ansbach University of Applied Sciences, the Technische Hochschule Ingolstadt, the Technical University of Munich, the OTH Regensburg as well as 26 companies from the energy sector

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