Harnessing Flexibility from Hot and Cold: Heat Storage and Hybrid Systems Can Play a Major Role

Juha Kiviluoma, Steve Heinen, Hassan Qazi, Henrik Madsen, Göran Strbac, Chongqing Kang, Ning Zhang, Dieter Patteeuw, Thomas Naegler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


As has been often reported, electricity systems with high levels of variable wind and solar power generation would benefit from demand flexibility. What is not as often mentioned is that electrification of the transport and heat sectors could exacerbate the need for flexibility, if they are implemented as inflexible loads. This demand could also be made more flexible, but it comes with a cost. The main issue is to identify the cases in which the benefits will outweigh those costs, a matter that will naturally depend on the evolution of specific energy systems. In this article, we lay out some generic principles and characteristics related to heatsector flexibility and demonstrate its possibilities using specific examples. While we generally use the word heat here, most of the discussions also apply to cool, which, after all, is just another form of temperature difference.
Original languageEnglish
Article number7842783
Pages (from-to)25-33
JournalIEEE Power and Energy Magazine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 6 Feb 2017
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


H. Madsen acknowledges support by CITIES (Center for ITIntelligent Energy Systems, DSF 1305-00027B). G. Strbac acknowledges support from the U.K. Research Council-funded project "Energy Storage for Low-Carbon Grids." Tsinghua University acknowledges support from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (51620105007). S. Heinen acknowledges support from the Fonds National de la Recherche, Luxembourg (project reference 6018454) and CITIES (DSF 1305-00027B/DSF). J. Kiviluoma acknowledges support from the FLEX-e program funded by TEKES.


  • Resistance heating
  • Heat pumps
  • Water heating
  • Space heating
  • Solar heating
  • Heat sinks
  • Power system planning
  • System integration


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