The impact of large-scale thermal energy storage in the energy system

Ioannis Sifnaios*, Daniel Møller Sneum, Adam R. Jensen, Jianhua Fan, Rasmus Bramstoft

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

160 Downloads (Pure)


In the last decade, pit thermal energy storage (PTES) systems have been used as a large-scale heat storage solution in district heating systems due to their low specific investment cost and high storage efficiency. Despite the existing knowledge on thermal energy storage (TES) technologies, their economic and environmental impacts have not been quantified in the literature, and very few studies have studied PTES as part of the energy system. For this reason, the energy system model Balmorel was used to quantify the impact of TES on the energy system, particularly PTES, and compare it to the tank thermal energy storage (TTES) alternative. The investigation was focused on Denmark and its neighboring countries. It was found that it was only the energy systems using TES that could achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. The main reason was the added flexibility due to the energy storage that allowed the system to have a 35% higher PV capacity, 10% higher wind capacity, and lower levels of curtailment. Additionally, systems with TES had 2.4 €/MWh lower average heat price (with 24% lower peak price). When comparing PTES with TTES, it was found that PTES systems were more advantageous, achieving a 1.5 €/MWh lower average price of heat.
Original languageEnglish
JournalApplied Energy
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • District heating
  • Heat storage
  • Integration
  • Pit thermal energy storage (PTES)
  • Sector coupling


Dive into the research topics of 'The impact of large-scale thermal energy storage in the energy system'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this