What Is Sector Coupling?
Sector coupling has become kind of a buzzword in European energy businesses. Most commonly, it means replacing the traditional separation of the energy sectors of electricity, heating and cooling, transport and industrial consumption processes in favor of a holistic approach.
Sector coupling aims at decarbonizing the national economy by converting the energy supply as completely as possible to electricity, finally reaching an "All Electric Society". A prerequisite for this is the use of the complete flexibility potential of producers and consumers as well as the storage of energy in its various forms.
In the first two decades of the 21st century, renewable energies have shown that they are able to cover an ever-larger share of the world’s electricity needs. It has therefore already been possible to decarbonize a considerable proportion of the electricity supply. The current main problem of sector coupling is to extend this success to the energy- and emission-intensive sectors of transport, heat supply, agriculture, and heavy industry. The most important economic goal from the perspective of climate protection is therefore to repeat the success of renewable energies in the electricity market by coupling all sectors of the economy that generate, consume and store energy. This sector coupling, primarily based on renewably generated electricity, should be able to make net zero CO2 emissions achievable.
Table of Contents
- The Energy System of the Future Is Electricity-based
- Paradox: Electricity Storage and Flexibility Are Both Prerequisites and Results of Sector Coupling
- Intelligent Use of Flexibility Can Reduce Storage Requirements
- Sector Coupling in Transport and Logistics
- Sector Coupling in Heat Generation
- Efficiency Measures and Reduction of Overall Energy Consumption
- New Technologies Reduce Overall Energy Consumption - Theoretically
- Conclusion: Where Do We Stand in Sector Coupling?
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