How sector coupling affects the transport sector

How sector coupling affects the transport sector

The basic idea of sector coupling is to link the sectors of electricity, heat, transport and industry, which have so far mostly been considered separately, and thereby make a decisive contribution to reducing CO2 emissions and achieving the targeted climate protection goals. In recent years, the term "sector coupling" has become increasingly established in energy and climate policy. In contrast to the electricity sector, the heating, transport and industry sectors in particular are dominated by fossil fuels, which is why the switch to renewable energies is to be stepped up here. In addition, sector coupling refers to the best possible linkage within the sectors. Integrated energy management ensures that all components in a sector are optimally coordinated with each other.

sector coupling

Sector coupling: driving CO2 reduction in the transport sector

Power to Mobility is a special energy conversion path within sector coupling, whereby regeneratively generated electricity is explicitly used in the transport sector. In the future, this sector will be increasingly covered by e-mobility. In this way, the e-car couples the electricity and transport sectors. Compared to vehicles with conventional fuels, e-cars are significantly more efficient. While diesel engines have a maximum efficiency of 45 percent, electric motors and the electronics and battery storage of an e-car have an efficiency of over 90 percent.

"Compared to diesel, an EV emits only about half the CO2 per km based on the EU electricity mix. By directly using physical wind power instead of the electricity mix, the CO2 balance is again significantly improved compared to conventional fuels" (NOW GmbH).

The functioning of sector coupling is most efficient in a so-called smart grid, in which an energy management system is responsible for networking and controlling power generators, storage units and e-vehicles. By controlling charging processes in a targeted manner, charging can take place precisely when regenerative plants are producing electricity. In this way, the need for electricity from fossil power plants can be reduced and the use of electricity from renewable sources increased. This is particularly important for the self-consumption rate of PV systems, as these often have to be shut down due to a lack of electricity demand.

The concept of sector coupling is becoming increasingly important in the age of electromobility. It not only helps to reduce the energy consumption of e-vehicles, but also ensures that we are getting closer and closer to the step towards the energy transition.


Source: NOW GmbH (2019): "Energiewende im Verkehr im kommunalen Umfeld: Kopplung der Sektoren Verkehr und Strom für Kommunen, Stadtwerke, Verteilnetzbetreiber und Verkehrsunternehmen".

Marie Hermsdorf
Marie Hermsdorf

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