With buildings consuming 75% of the electricity in the United States, they offer significant energy saving and demand reduction potential for our rapidly changing electrical grid. But to what extent, where, and by what strategies can better management of energy use in buildings actually affect the electricity system?
A comprehensive new study led by researchers from the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) answers these questions, determining what can be done to make buildings more energy efficient and resilient in nitty-gritty of time (including time of day and year) and space (looking at regions across the US). The research team, which also included scientists from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), found that maximizing the deployment of building demand management techniques could avoid the need for up to a third of power generation using coal or gas, and that could mean that at least half of All power plants expected to be operational between now and 2050 will not need to be built.
Their findings were recently published in the journal joules.
“One of the main reasons we haven’t heard more about our buildings’ role as an important resource for the clean energy transition is that it has been difficult to quantify this resource on a large scale — and without consistent numbers on a large scale, it is difficult to quantify this resource at a large scale,” said Jared Langevin, principal investigator at Berkeley Lab. Langevin, lead author of the study: “Policy makers or network operators to plan for.” “Our prevailing belief here was that producing the kinds of estimates that make the role of demand-side construction technologies more realistic would help ensure that more is done to encourage the diffusion of these technologies along Together with the deployment of renewable generation and batteries.”
“We are excited to collaborate with Berkeley Lab on the results of this research, which underscores the impact of our country’s buildings to achieve a decarbonized energy system,” said Achilles Karagiozis, Director of NREL’s Building Technologies and Science Center.
The so-called demand side of electricity is the electricity used in homes and workplaces, such as air conditioning, water heating, and running lights and appliances. The researchers approached using electricity from buildings as a source for the grid; By increasing the efficiency and flexibility of building electricity use, such as running high-performance equipment and changing the time when it is used, they found this resource to be significant, avoiding as much as 742 terawatt-hours (TWh) per year. Electricity use and 181 GW of daily maximum net load in 2030, rising to 800 TWh and 208 GWh by 2050. (Total US electricity consumption in 2020 is about 3,800 TWh).
The researchers found that the most impactful measures for apartment buildings were pre-conditioning (in which homes are pre-cooled to reduce peak air-conditioning use) and the use of heat pump water heaters; For commercial buildings, plug load management, where software is used to manage the electricity use of computers and other electronic devices in the building, has been more influential.
“Our preliminary estimates suggest tens of billions of dollars in annual costs could be saved for network operators — not to mention potential energy cost savings for families and businesses,” Karagozis said. “Buildings are also an important source of resilience for network operators, primarily in reducing electricity demand during times when it’s usually at its peak, such as during really hot summer days when most air conditioners are running.”
By reducing this peak demand, Langevin said utilities may have less need for battery technologies as they spread more renewable energy. “In fact, the flexible resource we found is comparable to the higher expectations of battery deployment needs under higher renewable energy deployment,” he said.
The areas where buildings have proven to provide the largest network resource were in Texas and the southeastern United States, as well as the Great Lakes and Mid-Atlantic regions. “These are areas with high population density, strong needs for space conditioning, and a lot of electrical equipment has already been installed,” Langevin said. “This information at the regional level is really important for the development of concrete policies to achieve the resource we are reporting.”
Strategies for capturing the potential building network resource identified by the study are already under development. Recently, for example, the Department of Energy released a National Roadmap for Interactive Grid Buildings, which draws from study findings and makes concrete recommendations on how to triple the efficiency and resilience of the buildings sector by 2030.
“Continuing efforts along these lines will be critical to establishing a key role for the buildings sector in the future development of the US electrical system,” Langevin said. “Our findings are encouraging, but now we need to find ways to quickly put this resource into action.”
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Jared Langevin et al., Building Energy Efficiency and Resilience in the US as a Supplier of the Electrical Grid, joules (2021). DOI: 10.1016 / j.joule.2021.06.002
Submitted by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
the quote: How Building Energy Demand Management Can Help the Clean Energy Transition (2021, July 21), Retrieved July 21, 2021 from https://techxplore.com/news/2021-07-energy-demand-aid-transition .html
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