IEA ECES Annex 35: Flexible Sector Coupling through Energy Storage Implementation

Project manager overall project: AEE INTEC

Project leader University of Innsbruck: Fabian Ochs (UIBK - Energy Efficient Building)

Project team: Abdulrahman Dahash, Alice Tosatto

 Project partner:

  • AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH (Austria)
  • PlanEnergi (Denmark)
  • Unit of Energy Systems, KTH Royal Institute of Technology (Sweden)
  • Urban Energy Systems, EMPA (Switzerland)

Funding body: (FFG, Energieforschung, flagship)

Duration: 01/11/2019 – 30/06/2022

Project website:

Funding: € 119.980


The increasing share of renewable energies and thus also greater fluctuations in the electricity grid are creating new challenges for electricity grid operators and energy suppliers. At certain times the strong fluctuations of wind and PV power create large power peaks that are significantly higher than the electricity demand. Due to the lack of possibilities for electricity storage, power plants must therefore be shut down temporarily.

However, these electricity peaks can be used to store energy in other sectors like the heating (cooling) and mobility sector. By storing energy with thermal, chemical or electrical storage technologies in the heating (cooling) and mobility sector, the electricity grid can be relieved and the share of usable renewable energy can be increased. Another advantage is that thermal storages often offer a more cost-effective storage option.

The aim of the IEA ECES Annex 35 is to investigate and evaluate the potential of different storage technologies and configurations for the application to the sector coupling of electricity, heat and mobility sector and to draft recommendations for politics, research and industry based on the results.

Expected results from Annex 35:

The main objective of the Annex is to investigate the possibilities and effects of implementing energy storage for sector coupling. For this purpose, both existing and future technologies and different possible storage system configurations are taken into account. These will be collected and discussed with the experts based on their experience and know-how, and the potential of storages for sector coupling will be evaluated both technically and economically.

  • Whitepaper reflecting the concept development of FSC;
  • Description of existing bottlenecks in the legal frameworks;
  • Overview and technical characterization of existing and future FSC storage configurations;
  • Quantification of the potentials of energy storages in comparison to no storage sector coupling applications;
  • Policy and R&D recommendations.

Research focus of the University of Innsbruck:

Given the experience gained by UIBK, it plays a role of consultant partner in the development of reliable numerical models on both levels (system and component). Besides, it runs several simulations for calibration and optimization of specific case studies. 

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