The residential sector can contribute to achieving the targets set by the 2030 Climate Target Plan through its flexibility, intended as the capacity of buildings to maximise the use of renewable energy. This works analyses the impact of demand flexibility on the optimal configuration of a district-scale shared photovoltaic and battery system. The peculiarity of this article concerns the adopted perspective which analyses the impact of flexibility from the designer´s point of view.
Four different scenarios with different level of flexibility have been created and tested in a residential district considering various demand profiles, such as home appliances, heat pumps, and electric vehicles consumption. An optimization tool has then been developed to design the optimal system according to a specific target function. This optimization is based both on economic indicators, and energy indicators, giving relevant contribution to the energy transition.
The demand in the residential sector, taking into account the electrification of heating and transport, coupled with the installation of photovoltaics, cannot guarantee alone satisfactory levels of self-sufficiency in the best economic situation. A solution to boost the installation of photovoltaic systems, thus increasing the renewable share, would be the proper use of storage and load shifting during daytime hours. The installation of photovoltaic systems cannot be considered only as an economic investment, but it has been demonstrated that it is possible to achieve emission reduction targets guaranteeing the economic sustainability of the system.
Regarding the transport sector, an optimal solution for decarbonisation would be to divide the investment or public subsidies between the private and public charging stations, covering also public parking, offices, municipalities, schools, supermarkets, sports centres, and all other strategic location. Electrification of heating and cooling demand is also crucial to achieve decarbonisation in the residential sector. Although batteries could increase self-sufficiency, they require a higher initial investment. Hence, the study suggests that priority should be given to investments in flexible, connected, and smart heat pumps which would interact with the owned or shared photovoltaic system to maximise self-sufficiency.
Read the full open access article here: https://www.mdpi.com/1996-1073/14/8/2326