Sector coupling stands for cooperation and integration – and is a keyword if we are to continue to have a stable energy supply everywhere when oil and gas are replaced by green electricity..
In future, when our energy will primarily come from sun and wind energy, we must be able to integrate – or couple – the forms of energy much more closely to each other to have the necessary energy available at all times. This is necessary for three reasons:
- Firstly, because the sun does not always shine and the wind does not always blow, as you know. Therefore, we must be able to store energy so that it will be ready for use on calm and/or cloudy days.
- Secondly, because all energy consumption cannot be electrified. Therefore, we must be able to convert electricity into e.g., liquid fuels.
- Thirdly, we must be sure that we use all energy optimally – because that makes the conversion task smaller. We can do this, for instance, by utilizing the surplus heat produced when we produce electricity or liquid fuels for district heating.
It is this integrated approach or connecting forms of energy that is generally called ‘sector coupling’, and it is a challenge that has both technological and social perspectives.