Lead Study: The Climate-Policy Contribution of Low-Carbon Energy Sources in the Distributed Power Generation and its Integration as a Contribution to the Stabilisation of Electrical Supply Systems

  • Project no. 2144
  • Duration 12/2010 - 07/2012

The increasing fluctuating energy feed-in from wind energy and photovoltaic plants will, amongst others, necessitate a higher percentage of flexibly controllable power plant capacity in the future. Low-carbon heat and power cogeneration (CHP) plants can contribute to the stability of the electricity system by operation in load change mode or by participating in the balancing power market. The dynamic potential of CHP to deliver such system services is not yet known. It will significantly depend on the possibility to decouple electricity production and heat requirement through (innovative) thermal storage, the buffering capacity of heating networks and through new operational strategies as well as bundling several plants to a virtual power plant.

Against this background the research project will analyse and answer the following guiding questions:

  • How far can distributed heat and power plants contribute to control power supply within the next decades?
  • How can flexibility and refitting measures increase this contribution?
  • What are the effects of operation strategies that aim at providing balancing power on the CO2 / GHG balance in comparison to current operation modes?
  • Which factors hinder the balancing power supply by distributed CHP and which new chances emerge?
  • Which (new) requirements distributed CHP plants have to meet in order to participate in the balancing power market?
  • How do framework conditions have to be changed and which new instruments have to be developed so that distributed CHP can effectively contribute to the balancing power demand?

The associated analyses and evaluations will be applied for Germany in the target years 2010 and 2020 and provide a prospect to 2030. Distributed low carbon CHP plants for the supply of individual buildings and local heating networks are in the focus of the project. In addition, industrial CHP plants will be examined exemplarily.