Decarbonisation Technology August 2022 issue

ETES offers a potentially climate-neutral alternative to conventional fossil- fuelled heating and cooling technologies and represents an efficient route to bring clean electricity solutions to otherwise challenging sectors

There are also grid management gains. Where a lot of variable output renewable energy generation appears on a network, this can create potential imbalances between supply and demand. This, in turn, has knock- on effects on important grid characteristics like frequency, and these challenges can be extremely costly to manage. ETES has the ability to balance renewable energy sources such as wind and solar, and can therefore make a substantial contribution to overall renewable energy economics. It can also help cut potential grid congestion and improve load factors across the network. “If you have to integrate renewable power into the energy system, you need to be flexible, and that’s what the ETES heat pump solution gives to our customers,” said Nielsen. Although the Esbjerg project ETES system is being deployed as a heat pump only and is not acting as a heat-to-power system or supplying cooling, t he inherent flexibility afforded by ETES makes the concept of city-wide energy management a reality. It is one of the reasons ETES makes a good solution for city infrastructure where there is inevitably demand for heating, cooling, and electricity. Nielsen said: “City-wide energy management helps the whole region move towards the clean transition by having that flexibility and being able to pull energy from different parts at different times to suit supply and demand characteristics. Most of western Europe and some parts of the US, like many university campuses, have a district energy network. In these district energy networks, you can achieve this transformation to decarbonise heat and integrate more renewables because you can add flexibility to renewable electricity production.” Reaching the goals of climate-neutral cities ETES offers a potentially climate-neutral alternative to conventional fossil-fuelled heating and cooling technologies and

represents an efficient route to bring clean electricity solutions to otherwise challenging sectors. Given that about half of Europe’s total energy demand comes from heating and cooling, any in-roads here will yield substantial climate benefits. ETES features up to four hot stores at different temperatures, giving it ample scope to supply a whole host of applications. As both electricity and the stored energy can be readily converted into other forms, ETES also presents multiple advantages when balancing the grid and improving system-wide performance. Low- cost, easily scalable energy storage that consists of simple water-filled and insulated tanks is another significant bonus. And, given the opportunities that come from sector coupling to supercharge energy efficiency, the ETES story presents a compelling technology on a number of fronts. The ETES development at Esbjerg is also stimulating further progress on the clean energy transition by encouraging renewable energy investment while other important elements are put in place. “It’s an important stepping stone for us to ensure stable supply and also to have an outlet for renewable electricity production to settle excess power. Power-to-X or power to hydrogen plants will be available in five years, but wind farm developers need somewhere like the ETES heat pump to sell the power into until then,” said Nielsen. The core technology has been proven in the highly demanding world of subsea oil and gas production, and the full ETES system has also flown through all factory acceptance tests. With full-scale deployment now under way, ETES is set to prove that it can balance the diverse energy needs of a large modern city.

Raymond C Decorvet


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