PtH4GR²ID - Power to Heat for the Greater Region's Renewables Integration and Development

In order to fulfil the European Union’s climate protection targets, the share of renewables used in generating electricity must be increased. The Greater Region (GR) has set itself the target of renewable energy production making up 15.2% of the total energy consumption by the year 2023. To achieve this, it is insufficient to just increase the renewables used in generating electricity. Change is also required in the generation of heat.

The increasing share of renewables (mainly from variable wind and solar power) necessitates an intensified management of the electrical grid. The EU’s 20-20-20 targets have been implemented in the various countries with different specific targets. Renewables account for the following shares of the total energy consumption: Wallonia (13%), Germany (35%), France (23%) and Luxembourg (11%). This trend of expansion will likely continue in the future and it is expected that in Rhineland-Palatinate in 2025, for example, the installed capacity of renewables will be double the electrical peak load. This development will require appropriate network management tasks to be undertaken in these regions.

The basis of the research project is the development of a sustainable control concept (depending on the RE feed-in) for heat pumps and accumulators. After conducting simulated calculations, the findings will be evaluated by means of pilot installations in the Greater Region. In addition to the technical feasibility and economic viability, user acceptance will play a pivotal role here. The aim is to take, in addition to the heating period, also the cooling period with a high photovoltaic feed-in into account and to identify an optimal operation of the heat pump’s storage technology by means of innovative control concepts for reversible heat pumps. In doing so, in addition to conventional technical storage systems, new technologies such as component activation and phase change materials (PCMs) are also of relevance here. Using the heat pump’s storage technology, conventional heating systems such as oil shall be forced from the market, thereby increasing the environmental friendliness of the Greater Region through a reduction of CO2. Furthermore, this technology acts as a demand side integration (DSI) instrument. By temporally adapting the electricity consumption to the production, a reducing of the need to expand the distribution networks will be explored and, at a later stage, aimed for. Here, the field test phase provides the opportunity to validate the simulation results and to transfer the findings to the Greater Region in a more optimal manner.

The associated network management tasks shall be analysed from a cross-border perspective for the Greater Region. How can a local surplus in electricity generated from renewables, for example, from the Saarland and Rhineland-Palatine be technically, economically and environmentally balanced out by using intelligent management in the neighbouring countries? Aside from the technical aspects, the economic and social aspects (such as user acceptance) shall also be analysed here. Furthermore, all the players in this value-added chain are involved in the project as advising partners. The communication with the political decision-makers is also part of the project so that the results of the project can be put into practice as quickly as possible.

The role of IZES gGmbH:

As a project partner with core competences in the energy industry, IZES gGmbH focuses on corresponding energy industry framework conditions and market data in the Greater Region linked to relevant associated future scenarios. This is reflected in work packages 4 and 11 (IZES is in charge of these work packages):

WP7 – Determination of the energy industry-specific framework conditions and market data for the operation of heat pumps in the Greater Region
Description and characterisation of the energy industry framework (electricity sector) for the GR. Identification of the various electricity tariffs for heat pumps linked to the different sub-markets. Evaluation of the market framework and its further development in regard to the security of supply in order to guarantee that heat pumps are deployed in a manner which benefits the network.

Expected results:

  • Wholesale electricity prices and factors influencing the future development of electricity prices
  • Scenarios for future production situations in the GR as well as the emergence of legislation for a feed-in regulation
  • Specific (time or load-dependent) electricity tariffs for heat pump customers incl. possible premiums for restricted periods


WP11 – Regional assessments of potential and future scenarios for the usage of heat pumps in the Greater Region
Evaluation des Gebäudebestandes und Neubauprognosen. Ermittlung der Markt­durchdringungen der Wärmepumpen, um das (Markt)Potential der Wärmepumpen­technologie zu ermitteln.
Presentation of the potential of heat pumps using different market assumptions within the framework of three future scenarios (moderate, normal, progressive) up to the year 2050. Evaluation of the overall economic framework for heat pumps in the GR.

Expected results:

  • Distinguishing of existing building stock under the current market penetration of heat pumps
  • Market prognoses for the different markets
  • Future scenarios (up to 2050) with relevant market potentials for heat pumps in the GR being presented
  • Recommendations for the shaping of framework conditions for a deployment of heat pumps that is beneficial to the network

In addition, based on expertise in heat balancing and simulation in the building sector with the TRANSYS program, the Kaiserslautern University of Technology shall assist with work package 4 (Assessment of the potential of the buildings in the Greater Region and their contribution to the management of the electricity network) and work package 6 (Development and evaluation of thermal storage systems for use with electricity generated from renewables and for transferring the load).



  • Press release, Project start, 12.01.2017
    >> PDF


Project-Consortium leader:
  • Universität Lüttich / Building Energy Monitoring and Simulation (ULg/BEMS)


  • Technische Universität Kaiserslautern / Lehrstuhl für Energiesysteme und Energiemanagement (TUK/ESEM)
  • Technische Universität Kaiserslautern / Fachgebiet Hauskybernetik (TUK/ARCH)
  • Fachgebiet Facility Management und Technische Gebäudeausrüstung (TUK/FMTGA)
  • Technische Universität Kaiserslautern / Fachgebiet Immobilienökonomie (TUK/RE)
  • Institut für ZukunftsEnergieSysteme (IZES)
  • Universität Luxemburg (Energieeffizienz von Gebäuden, Technische Gebäudeausrüstung)
  • Universität Lothringen / Labor LERMAB (UL)


Strategic partners:
  • Enovos Luxembourg SA
  • VSE Verteilnetz GmbH
  • DTC (Distribution de Techniques Climatiques)
  • Energieagentur Rheinland-Pfalz
  • StoREgio Energiespeichersysteme e.V.
  • Universität der Großregion a.s.b.l.
  • EIfER Europäisches Institut für Energieforschung EDF-KIT EWIV
  • Bundesverband Wärmepumpen
  • Ministerium für Wirtschaft, Klimaschutz, Energie und Landesplanung Rheinland-Pfalz
  • Ministerium für Wirtschaft, Arbeit, Energie und Verkehr des Saarlandes




09/2016 to 08/2019