In order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate the effects of climate change, the future energy production will be increasingly based on renewable energy sources,
A challenge to be solved before the full benefits of renewables can be obtained, is that these systems (mainly photovoltaic and wind turbine plants) are intermittent and volatile and this determines possible imbalances on the electric grid.
An appropriate solution can be found in the synergy between the different networks (electricity, district heating, and natural gas), which can be obtained by the optimised use of conversion and storage technologies such as heat pumps, power to gas and cogeneration systems, through a smart control systems that take into consideration the whole energy system.
These are the main topics studied within the PLANET Horizon2020 European project, by 11 partners from 7 different countries and coordinated by the Energy Department of the Politecnico di Torino (Italy).
PLANET will develop a holistic Decision Support System (DSS) integrated in a ICT monitoring and orchestration cockpit for utilities, policy makers and network operators. The DSS will aid them to leverage innovative energy conversion in alternative carriers & storage technologies in order to explore, identify, evaluate and quantitatively assess optimal grid planning and management strategies for future energy scenarios that target full energy system decarbonisation.
A robust analysis of the possible synergies between electricity, gas and heat networks will be carried out by creating simulation models for the integration between energy networks and conversion/storage technologies, e.g. power-to-gas (P2G), power-to-heat (P2H) and virtual thermal energy storage (VES).
Application of the developed tools in two different test cases in Italy and France will showcase their benefits and also reveal potential grid stability issues and effective countermeasures.
Finally the project will further investigate the possible economic impact of this a approach, the new business opportunities in electricity, natural gas and district heating markets as well as the necessary adaptations of the regulatory and standardization landscape to facilitate the adoption of these technologies.