Smart Energy Systems
Smart energy systems are a concept to support the design of coherent and sustainable energy supply strategies. A smart energy system is a combination of the currently isolated energy sectors, such as electricity, heating and transport, and it includes three smart energy grid infrastructures, namely the electricity, thermal and gas grids. These grids connect the energy resources with the demands, energy production, energy storage and interconnection points. When these grids and sectors are analysed in detail and assessed as one coherent energy system, a number of synergies can be identified across the sectors, which an approach that considers only one or two sectors could not have done. The two studies ‘IDA's Energy Vision 2050’ and ‘Smart Energy Europe’ are used as case studies to demonstrate and discuss the potential of the smart energy approach. In these studies, different storage options are considered and analysed, and generally it is found that hydroelectric storage, batteries in electric vehicles, thermal storage in district heating systems and storage of renewable electrofuels are important and provide a cost-efficient flexibility to the overall energy system. However, large-scale batteries on the grid level and stationary batteries in buildings are not found feasible in an energy system perspective.