Sector integration

Electrification of today's fossil energy use will affect the overall usage pattern for electricity in Europe. The restructuring creates a need for greater integration of both sides of the energy chain, and all sectors. The transport sector is already well on its way to becoming electric [data?] where electric private vehicles and an ever-increasing number of electric buses and ferries are coming into operation. Innovation in technology for electric aircraft and shipping is underway.

Modern houses require little energy for heating (which traditionally has a high service life), while energy consumption for purposes of relatively short duration, such as cooking, heating of tap water and use of various electrical appliances does not fall accordingly.

The key for sector integration is interoperability and flexibility. Demand response is a term used when adjusting consumption to meet power grid needs. Traditionally, demand response has been limited to larger industrial customers, but with cheap and smart data-driven technology we now see that smaller consumers, such as household customers with or without electric cars, can also offer adjustments to consumption.

Demand side flexibility can also address the challenges associated with voltage variations and reactive power. The European heat market is still largely dependant on fossil fuels. Electrification of heat brings renewable and sustainable power into domestic and industrial heat. Even sectors that offer the most sustainable heating can be electrified. District heating systems and local power plants often have the opportunity to switch between several energy carriers. The energy sources can be anything from waste heat from industry or waste incineration, bioenergy, heat pumps or other electricity. Using local surplus energy for heating instead of electricity will relieve the local power grids. Increased use of district heating for heating thus frees up space for other consumption in the mains. District heating systems integrated with heat-pumps can both use electricity and produce electricity in addition to heat contributing to increase flexibility in the overall energy system.

In manufacturing, electrical industrial heating technologies typically heat or melt materials that are used in everyday life. Electromagnetic heating is central for the manufacturing of a vast array of consumer and industrial products. These technologies offer significant benefits compared to the fossil fuel alternatives and contribute to decarbonization by not producing on-site emissions. Electrical industrial heating technologies can potentially halve the final energy demand for EU process heat which is 20% of final energy demand in the EU.