IEA HPT Annex 57: Showing flexibility benefits through heat pump implementation in multi-vector energy systems and thermal networks

This project analyzes the future implementation of heat pumps in multi-vector energy systems and thermal networks. The aim is to increase the flexibility of the energy system and to use it for various applications, e.g. for system services or to participate in different electricity markets. Using international case studies, influencing factors and potentials for flexibility options will be evaluated and suitable business models will be derived.

Short Description


Analyses of the IEA HPT Annex 47 show that up to 50% of heat demand in Europe can be covered by district heating and up to 25% can be covered by heat pumps (HP). Annex 57 deals with advancing the implementation of heat pumps in district heating and cooling systems. The Annex' focus lies on increasing flexibility through HP in energy systems that are coupled with different technologies such as PV, wind power and biomass. In these mulit-vector energy systems end users act as prosumers. Furthermore, by using HPs, the future thermal grids can be operated at lower temperatures in order to increase the possibilities for waste heat utilisation. In this way, the grid can be operated more efficiently overall, as heat losses can be reduced. Other positive effects include reduced investment risks, increased security of supply, reduced CO2 emissions and thus a contribution to achieving the climate and energy goals.


The project seeks intensive collaboration and exchange with the international experts and partners of the IEA Heat Pump Programme regarding the utilisation of flexibility options of HP. The specific goals of the national project are:

  • Analysis of the energy situation and the role of heat pumps in Austria and analysis of heat sources (WP 2)
  • Survey and categorization of specific case studies in Austria (WP 3)
  • Development of framework conditions for providing flexibility and of promising concepts (WP 4)
  • Identification of relevant markets and evaluation of promising areas of application (WP 5)
  • Identification of barriers and possible solutions as well as development of business models (WP 6)
  • Creation of a communication strategy and dissemination activities (lectures, publications, courses, workshops, social media, involvement in teaching) (WP 7)

Expected results, target group

Using international case studies, factors influencing the technical and economic potential for flexibility options as well as the development of business models and measures to overcome potential barriers will be systematically identified, characterised and evaluated. Economically and ecologically sensible pilot projects will be identified and concepts for flexibility applications will be outlined and further developed. The project's results and findings will be communicated and disseminated through events, lectures, interactive workshops and newsletter articles. The project's main goal is to improve the understanding of the flexibility potentials of heat pumps and their contribution to sector coupling among different stakeholders; e.g. manufacturers, energy suppliers, potential end users, advisors, energy planners and policy makers.


Denmark (Operating Agent), Belgium, Germany, United Kingdom, Italy, the Netherlands, Austria, Sweden

Contact Address

AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH
Johanna Spreitzhofer
Giefinggasse 6, 1210 Vienna

Technische Universität Wien
Energy Economics Group (EEG)
Lukas Kranzl
Gusshausstrasse 25-29/370-3, 1040 Wien

Technische Universität Graz
Institut für Wärmetechnik
René Rieberer
Inffeldgasse 25/B, 8010 Graz