Scientific article
Open access

Spatial analysis of distribution grid capacity and costs to enable massive deployment of PV, electric mobility and electric heating

Published inApplied Energy, vol. 287, no. 116504
Publication date2021

Rapid deployment of solar photovoltaics (PV), electric heat pumps (HP) and electric vehicles (EV) is needed to decarbonize the economy. However, the integration of these technologies into the power system creates challenges for the distribution grid infrastructure. It is therefore vital to analyse to which extent grid reinforcement is needed to enable decarbonization strategies while also studying alternative flexibility measures. In this GIS-based study, we model the impact of the deployment of PV, HP and EV on a low-voltage distribution grid network serving 170'000 households in Switzerland, and analyse scenarios for their penetration in the years 2035 and 2050. Using a detailed grid model in collaboration with a distribution system operator, we find that PV leads to 18.5% and 13.7% more voltage violation issues compared to HP and EV respectively, which on the other hand, cause slightly more line overloading, 0.5% and 2.5%, respectively. We also find that grid reinforcement costs markedly depend on the type of urban setting ranging between 51–213 CHF/kW𝑝, 46–1'385 CHF/kW and 34–143 CHF/kW for PV, HP and EV, respectively, with the higher limit corresponding to rural areas. The total distribution grid reinforcement costs can amount up to 11 billion CHF until 2050 i.e. 2'900 CHF per household in Switzerland. Interestingly, we find that batteries, even with current costs, have the potential to defer grid reinforcement for up to 15% of the transformer stations with the highest specific grid reinforcement costs. Our study aims to inform various stakeholders about the required grid investments to enable the massive deployment of low carbon technologies.

  • PV
  • Heat pumps
  • Electric vehicles
  • Grid integration
  • Decarbonization costs
Citation (ISO format)
GUPTA, Ruchi et al. Spatial analysis of distribution grid capacity and costs to enable massive deployment of PV, electric mobility and electric heating. In: Applied Energy, 2021, vol. 287, n° 116504. doi: 10.1016/j.apenergy.2021.116504
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Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal0306-2619

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