Increased heat-electricity sector coupling by constraining biomass use?

Daniel Møller Sneum, Mario Garzón González, Juan Gea-Bermúdez

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Flexible sector coupling of heat and electricity is a well-documented way of facilitating efficient and renewables-based energy systems. Heating is characterised by substitutable heat sources, where some facilitate flexibility and sector coupling, while others do not. Earlier studies indicate sector coupling hindrances from competing biomass-based heat sources. The scientific contribution of this study is an investigation of heat source substitution as a general route to sector coupling. We explore the impacts of constraining biomass use, applying the Danish heat sector as a case, to see impacts on indicators such as power-to-heat deployment. We do so by introducing taxes on biomass use, ban biomass boilers and entirely prohibit use of biomass. These constraints are modelled in the Balmorel model. The results show that system costs decrease along with biomass use. Power-to-heat use, CO2-emissions, tax- and electricity tariff revenue and end-user heat cost increase, in some cases substantially. It appears that a CO2 price signal is sufficient to obtain CO2-reductions, whereas other motivations, including increased electrification of the heating sector, may justify constraints on biomass use.
Original languageEnglish
Article number119986
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Sector coupling
  • Biomass
  • Power-to-heat
  • Flexibility
  • Heating
  • Variable renewable energy


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