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Sector Coupling and Migration towards Carbon-Neutral Power Systems


There is increasing interest in migrating to a carbon-neutral power system that relies on renewable energy due to concerns about greenhouse gas emissions, energy shortages, and global warming. However, the increasing share of renewable energy has added volatility and uncertainty to power system operations. Introducing new devices and using flexible resources may help solve the problem, but expanding the domain of the problem can be another solution. Sector coupling, which integrates production, consumption, conversion, and storage by connecting various energy domains, could potentially meet the needs of each energy sector. It can also reduce the generation of surplus energy and unnecessary carbon emissions. As a result, sector coupling, an integrated energy system, increases the acceptance of renewable energy in the traditional power system and makes it carbon neutral. However, difficulties in large-scale integration, low conversion efficiency and economic feasibility remain obstacles. This perspective paper discusses the background, definition, and components of sector coupling, as well as its functions and examples in rendering power systems carbon-neutral. The current limitations and outlook of sector coupling are also examined.

Funding source: This work was supported by the Korea Institute of Energy Technology Evaluation and Planning (KETEP) and the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) of Korea (20192010107290
Related subjects: Applications & Pathways
Countries: Korea, Republic of

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