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Enhancing Energy Transition through Sector Coupling: A Review of Technologies and Models


In order to effectively combat the effects of global warming, all sectors must actively reduce greenhouse gas emissions in a sustainable and substantial manner. Sector coupling has emerged as a critical technology that can integrate energy systems and address the temporal imbalances created by intermittent renewable energy sources. Despite its potential, current sector coupling capabilities remain underutilized, and energy modeling approaches face challenges in understanding the intricacies of sector coupling and in selecting appropriate modeling tools. This paper presents a comprehensive review of sector coupling technologies and their role in the energy transition, with a specific focus on the integration of electricity, heat/cooling, and transportation, as well as the importance of hydrogen in sector coupling. Additionally, we conducted an analysis of 27 sector coupling models based on renewable energy sources, with the goal of aiding deciders in identifying the most appropriate model for their specific modeling needs. Finally, the paper highlights the importance of sector coupling in achieving climate protection goals, while emphasizing the need for technological openness and market-driven conditions to ensure economically efficient implementation.

Funding source: The Henan Institute for Chinese Development Strategy of Engineering and Technology (Grant No. 2022HENZDA02) and the Science and Technology Department of Sichuan Province Project (Grant No. 2021YFH0010).
Related subjects: Applications & Pathways

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