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Flexibility concepts in the energy sector

The large-scale increase of volatile renewable energies in power generation leads to increasing fluctuations in the power grid. As a result, the electricity system requires more regulatory options and flexibility. This presents new challenges for producers and consumers who need to develop and implement new flexibility concepts. At the same time, however, it enables the associated players to enter new markets.

Load management, also known as demand response, is of particular importance on the consumer side. Here, energy-intensive industries can significantly reduce the need for large electrical energy storage systems and peak load power plants. For example, the electrochemical synthesis of basic chemicals (Power to Chemicals) in combination with large volume storage units enables flexible operation and thus represents an indirect storage of electricity.

On the generation side, the flexibilization of conventional power plant processes by integrating energy storage facilities or the implementation of power-to-x concepts represent options to compensate for the fluctuating supply of electricity by renewables. For example, the integration of heat storage facilities in the district heating network enables the decoupling of the supply of electricity and heat, thus increasing the flexibility of Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plants.

At our chair, we are investigating both the producer and the consumer sides. This includes the identification and evaluation of load management potentials and the development of concepts and analyses for the application of energy storage technologies. For this purpose, mathematical optimization methods are applied. The formulation of these optimization problems is based on the conditions of the energy markets as well as on the characteristics of the considered plants. The results of these models for operation planning or operation optimization provide valuable information for the technical and economic evaluations of the flexibility concepts.



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