Master Thesis on Demand Response

The master thesis “New Opportunities for Residential Demand Response in Austria” was just finished:

The progressing transition towards a low-carbon society in order to tackle the climate crisis is going to challenge the existing electricity ecosystems heavily. Several solutions are conceivable to ensure a reliable and affordable electricity supply in the upcoming decades. Demand response constitutes one promising approach within a greater set of tools. The concept of demand response is using incentives to change electricity customer´s demand patterns towards system friendlier behaviour. The main prerequisites for this are electric appliances which incorporate a sufficient flexibility in the time-of-use as well as a substantial shifting potential of electricity demand. Currently, three main electric applications are severely changing the consumption patterns in the residential sector: residential photovoltaic power plants, electric cars and electric heat supply for space heating and hot water preparation. This paper explores in which application areas of demand response Austrian households could participate and which household appliances are suitable for each application area. The discussion is triangulated by findings of academic literature, grey literature and interviews with experts in reference to the Austrian electricity ecosystem. A matrix with five application areas of residential demand response was developed to allocate residential appliances accordingly. The most advanced application area currently is the private consumption optimization of residentially produced photovoltaic energy. Application areas in which residential customers participate in wholesale electricity markets and contribute to low voltage grid stability will be of higher importance in the immediate future. It remains unclear if residential customers will participate in control energy markets or in dynamic demand at some point in time. In Austria, the suitable residential appliances for demand response in the different application areas are currently heating elements, electric car chargers, heat pumps, hot water washing machines and dishwashers, pool pumps, fridges and freezers. At the moment, stationary battery systems seem to be limited suitable and air-conditioning systems may play a more important role in the future.