Summary: Kensa explains how plans for widespread deployment of heat pumps will help to reduce strain on the electricity grid.
- A report found the electrification of domestic heating on the grid is far less problematic than previously thought.
- Peak heat demand is 170GW, 40% lower than previously thought.
- Maximum ramp rate is 60GW/h, around 50% lower than previously thought.
- Dynamic electricity tariffs, heat storage and smart controls will help mitigate capacity problems.
- Heat pumps produce more heat than the electric they consume, reducing the load on the grid.
- Smart controls can help avoid peaks and shift load to off-peak times.
- Ground source heat pumps are better suited to load shifting initiatives because of stable ground temperatures.
Dr. Matthew Trewhella, Managing Director of Kensa Contracting, comments:
The rapid decarbonisation of the electricity grid over the last five years has added more momentum towards the electrification of heat. Concerns have been expressed that shifting load from fossil fuels such as oil, LPG and ultimately mains gas, will unduly increase the strain on the electricity grid beyond its capacity – particularly at peak times.
By using smart controls that learn the occupant’s preferences and building heat physics, it is possible to avoid the peaks of grid strain and shift load to the times when the grid can best accommodate it. If you combine some energy storage local to the heat pump, it is possible to even further reduce the peak demand. This means that ground source heat pumps transform from being a potential strain on the grid to becoming part of the solution.
The ground-breaking Energy Superhub in Oxford as a prime example of how ground source heat pumps can be used with grid-scale energy storage and load-shifting initiatives.