Future energy scenarios with distributed technology options for residential city blocks in three climate regions of the United States

Shengxi Yuan, Wendell Stainsby, Mo Li, Kewei Xu, Michael Waite, Dan Zimmerle, Richard Feiock, Anu Ramaswami, Vijay Modi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


To reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the electricity sector is going through two main transitions. First, the electric grid is integrating variable renewable generation, such as wind and solar. Second, demands are changing as heating systems are shifting from gas-based to high efficiency electric heat pumps. This paper provides a comparative analysis of future energy scenarios with distributed technology options including (1) wind and solar generation; (2) heat pumps for heating and cooling; and (3) battery and thermal storage in representative residential blocks in four cities, including New York City, New York; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Tallahassee, Florida; and Fort Collins, Colorado. These cities are located in three climate regions with different weather patterns which result in different demand profiles and different local renewable resources. Future energy demand scenarios with 100% penetration of air source or ground source heat pumps for heating and cooling are estimated for the four residential city blocks. Under a future scenario with all electric demand with air source heat pumps and high renewable energy penetration, this study finds that (1) the optimal wind and solar generation mix varies with location and amount of storage and (2) battery storage is more cost effective than thermal storage, ground source heat pumps, and overbuilt renewable generation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)60-69
Number of pages10
JournalApplied Energy
StatePublished - Mar 1 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by funding from NSF Sustainability Research Networks (award 1444745 ): “Integrated Urban Infrastructure Solutions for Environmentally Sustainable, Healthy, and Livable Cities.” The authors would also like to thank Colorado State University, Florida State University, the City of Fort Collins Utilities, and the City of Tallahassee Utilities for providing the data for this research.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Elsevier Ltd


  • Distributed technology
  • Heat pump
  • Residential
  • Solar
  • Storage
  • Wind


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