The impact on the energy system of heating demands in buildings A case study on district heating and electricity for heating in Falun, Sweden

University dissertation from Västerås : Mälardalen university press

Abstract: Energy efficiency measures in buildings are considered to have great potential in order to reduce total energy consumption, and thus contribute to a reduced environmental impact and a better climate. In Sweden, however, the energy performance requirements for buildings are formulated in terms of bought energy, i.e. as bought electricity and district heating (DH), which does not always reflect the environmental and climate impact from a broader perspective. Focusing on bought energy means that many choose an electricity-based heat pump solution in their building instead of DH, since heat pumps result in a smaller amount of bought energy compared to DH.The surrounding energy system of the buildings is affected by the choice of energy carriers used for heating. How the energy system is affected is studied in this thesis using two different methods. In the first part, primary energy consumption has been calculated for a simulated building with different heating solutions, representing different electricity and DH demands. In the second part, the impact on total consumption in the surrounding power and DH networks due to different market shares of electricity-based heating and DH has been studied. The second part also includes an analysis of the potential to produce electricity using combined heat and power (CHP) in different scenarios depending on the market share of DH. This part has been carried out as a case study for the Swedish municipality of Falun.The results show that the choice of energy carrier has a great influence on primary energy consumption. The resulting primary energy consumption does, however, to an even greater extent depend on the calculation method used. Which heating solution, and thus also which energy carrier, gets the lowest primary energy consumption varies in the different methods.The surrounding power and DH networks are also affected to a great extent by the choice of energy carrier. There is a huge potential to lower peak demand in the power grid by avoiding electricity-based heating. The potential to produce electricity using CHP is also increased with a larger market share for DH. In Falun, reduced electricity demand and increased electricity production using CHP make it possible to cover the peak power demand using only electricity production from CHP. In comparison, 10 % of the peak power demand was covered by electricity from CHP in 2015.The choice of energy carrier for heating in buildings affects the surrounding energy system to a high degree, and is therefore an important aspect to take into account in both local, national and global energy efficiency projects. 

  CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE WHOLE DISSERTATION. (in PDF format)