Sector Coupling – Key to the energy revolution

Sector Coupling – Key to the energy revolution


We are entering a new era. An era that
will be shaped by the battle against climate change and the search for
sustainability. We are planning to abandon fossil fuels and shift to
renewable energies – the energy revolution. We all agree on this. But there is a
problem: Energy from renewable sources is not always available in consistent
quantities. We often have too little energy in the mornings and evenings, too
much at midday, too much in the summer, too little in the winter and we lack the
storage capacities needed to offset these swings. However, there is a solution: Sector Coupling. If we think of the energy sector as an overall system, we
can take steps that will offset these weaknesses. For instance, excess power can be converted into gas during a Power2Gas process and stored. Combined heat and
power facilities will use the gas to heat homes and produce light – even during the winter, at night and during lulls. And this is just one coupling point.
Naturally this process experiences transformation losses – but it is better
to suffer these losses than to do without this energy altogether. Sector
coupling enables us to combine sustainability with supply security – a
huge step towards a CO2-neutral future. The best thing is: We do not have to
start from square one. Wiener Stadtwerke has been coupling gas, power and district
heating in the Vienna model for decades. It intends to be a pacesetter in the
future. As a municipal utility we have access to all necessary grids, power
plants, facilities and storage units from very large to very small. We still have a
lot of work to do. But it is a necessary investment in the future. Let’s get to
work!

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