Interconnection of the electricity and heating sectors to support the energy transition in cities
Journal article, 2019

The electricity, heating, and transport sectors in urban areas all have to contribute to meeting stringent climate targets. Cities will face a transition from fossil fuels to renewable sources, with electricity acting as a cross-sectorial energy carrier. Consequently, the electricity demand of cities is expected to rise, in a situation that will be exacerbated by ongoing urbanisation and city growth. As alternative to an expansion of the connection capacity to the national grid, local measures can be considered within city planning in order to utilize decentralised electricity generation, synergies between the heating and electricity sectors, and flexibility through energy storage technologies.
This work proposes an optimisation model that interconnects the electricity, heat, and transport sectors in cities. We analyse the investments in and operation of an urban energy system, using the City of Gothenburg as an example. We find that the availability of electricity from local solar PV together with thermal storage technologies increase the value of using power-to-heat technologies, such as heat pumps. High biomass prices together with strict climate targets enhance the importance of electricity in the district heating sector. A detailed understanding of the integration of local low-carbon energy technologies can give urban planners and other city stakeholders the opportunity to take an active role in the city’s energy transition.

Urban energy planning


Smart cities

District heating



Verena Heinisch

Chalmers, Space, Earth and Environment, Energy Technology, Energy Technology 1

Lisa Göransson

Chalmers, Space, Earth and Environment, Energy Technology, Energy Technology 2

Mikael Odenberger

Chalmers, Space, Earth and Environment, Energy Technology, Energy Technology 2

Filip Johnsson

Chalmers, Space, Earth and Environment, Energy Technology

International Journal of Sustainable Energy Planning and Management

2246-2929 (eISSN)

Vol. 24 57-66

Driving Forces

Sustainable development

Subject Categories

Energy Engineering

Energy Systems



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