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Title: Analyzing the Impact of Decarbonizing Residential Heating on the Electric Distribution Grid
Heating buildings using fossil fuels such as natural gas, propane and oil makes up a significant proportion of the aggregate carbon emissions every year. Because of this, there is a strong interest in decarbonizing residential heating systems using new technologies such as electric heat pumps. In this paper, we conduct a data-driven optimization study to analyze the potential of replacing gas heating with electric heat pumps to reduce CO 2 emission in a city-wide distribution grid. We conduct an in-depth analysis of gas consumption in the city and the resulting carbon emissions. We then present a flexible multi-objective optimization (MOO) framework that optimizes carbon emission reduction while also maximizing other aspects of the energy transition such as carbon-efficiency, and minimizing energy inefficiency in buildings. Our results show that replacing gas with electric heat pumps has the potential to cut carbon emissions by up to 81%. We also show that optimizing for other aspects such as carbon-efficiency and energy inefficiency introduces tradeoffs with carbon emission reduction that must be considered during transition. Finally, we present a detailed analysis of the implication of proposed transition strategies on the household energy consumption and utility bills, electric grid upgrades, and decarbonization policies. We compute the additional energy demand from electric heat pumps at the household as well as the transformer level and discuss how our results can inform decarbonization policies at city scale.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
2020888 2021693
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ;
Date Published:
Journal Name:
ACM SIGEnergy Energy Informatics Review
Page Range / eLocation ID:
47 to 60
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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