POWER December 2021 - 8

GLOBAL MONITOR
THE BIG PICTURE: Sector Coupling
" Sector coupling " has traditionally described the electrification of energy end-uses outside traditional power users-such as for
the transportation, industry, buildings, and heating sectors. From a power supply standpoint, the term has been significant
because it has typically described new uses for excess electricity-including from variable renewable energy resources-that
would be otherwise curtailed or wasted. As illustrated in the second figure, sector coupling also envisions an inter-linking
between the power and gas sectors by optimizing existing synergies in the generation, transport, and distribution of power
and gas. The term is increasingly also being used to describe efforts to enhance system flexibility using demand-side solutions.
For example, concepts envision mitigating grid stability challenges posed by high shares of wind and solar through progressive
electrification and digitalization, electric vehicles and smart charging, electric boilers and heat pumps, and electrolyzers for
hydrogen production. Sources: IRENA, Sector Coupling in Facilitating Integration of Variable Renewable Energy in Cities (2021)
-Sonal Patel is a POWER senior associate editor.
Power
Direct use of power
Electrolysis
Generated power
Indirect use of
excess power
H2
Residential
CH4
CO2
Methanation
Generation
Conversion and infrastructure
1
1
Electrolysis
1
H+CO2
2
Methanation
2
Carbon-free power
Nuclear, solar, wind
Power
CO2
3
Reconversion
Power
3
Heat pumps,
ohmic heaters
Fossil fuel power
Natural gas, coal, oil
Household, trade, and
industry
Heat
Energy and chemicals
CO2
Syngas and
value-added
processes
Fuels
Products
CH4
2
Transportation
Fuels
H2
Transport
Consumption
Power-to-X Pathways
The inter-linking between
the power and other sectors
often occurs under a
" power-to-X " principle where
" X " stands for gas, fuels,
chemicals, or heat.
Gas-to-power applications
typically use hydrogen (via
gas turbines or fuel cells) or
renewable gas to produce
power.
1
2
3
Electrolysis
Methanation
Reconversion
Power
Carbon dioxide (CO2
Hydrogen (H2
Methane (CH4
)
)
Heat
Products
Fuels
)
H2
Industry, trade,
and commerce
Consumers
8
www.powermag.com
POWER | December 2021
Power to heat
Gas to power
Gas to fuels,
chemicals
Power to gas
Provision of heat, cold, and operating power
http://www.powermag.com

POWER December 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of POWER December 2021

POWER December 2021 - Cover1
POWER December 2021 - Cover2
POWER December 2021 - 1
POWER December 2021 - 2
POWER December 2021 - 3
POWER December 2021 - 4
POWER December 2021 - 5
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POWER December 2021 - 8
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POWER December 2021 - SCover1
POWER December 2021 - SCover2
POWER December 2021 - S1
POWER December 2021 - S2
POWER December 2021 - S3
POWER December 2021 - S4
POWER December 2021 - S5
POWER December 2021 - S6
POWER December 2021 - S7
POWER December 2021 - S8
POWER December 2021 - S9
POWER December 2021 - S10
POWER December 2021 - S11
POWER December 2021 - S12
POWER December 2021 - S13
POWER December 2021 - S14
POWER December 2021 - S15
POWER December 2021 - S16
POWER December 2021 - SCover3
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POWER December 2021 - 21
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POWER December 2021 - Cover3
POWER December 2021 - Cover4
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https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/POWER/power-december-2020
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https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/POWER/power-december-2019
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https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/POWER/power-august-2019
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https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/POWER/power-february-2012
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/POWER/power-january-2012
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/POWER/power-november-2011
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/POWER/power-october-2011
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https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/POWER/power-august-2011
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https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/POWER/power-may-2011
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https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/POWER/power-january-2011
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/POWER/power-december-2010
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/POWER/power-november-2010
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/POWER/power-october-2010
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/POWER/power-september-2010
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/POWER/power-august-2010
https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/POWER/power-july-2010
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https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/POWER/power-may-2010
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