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Modelling the Italian household sector at the municipal scale: Micro-CHP, renewables and energy efficiency


  • Comodi, Gabriele
  • Cioccolanti, Luca
  • Renzi, Massimiliano


This study investigates the potential of energy efficiency, renewables, and micro-cogeneration to reduce household consumption in a medium Italian town and analyses the scope for municipal local policies. The study also investigates the effects of tourist flows on town's energy consumption by modelling energy scenarios for permanent and summer homes. Two long-term energy scenarios (to 2030) were modelled using the MarkAL-TIMES generator model: BAU (business as usual), which is the reference scenario, and EHS (exemplary household sector), which involves targets of penetration for renewables and micro-cogeneration. The analysis demonstrated the critical role of end-use energy efficiency in curbing residential consumption. Cogeneration and renewables (PV (photovoltaic) and solar thermal panels) were proven to be valuable solutions to reduce the energetic and environmental burden of the household sector (−20% in 2030). Because most of household energy demand is ascribable to space-heating or hot water production, this study finds that micro-CHP technologies with lower power-to-heat ratios (mainly, Stirling engines and microturbines) show a higher diffusion, as do solar thermal devices. The spread of micro-cogeneration implies a global reduction of primary energy but involves the internalisation of the primary energy, and consequently CO2 emissions, previously consumed in a centralised power plant within the municipality boundaries.

Suggested Citation

  • Comodi, Gabriele & Cioccolanti, Luca & Renzi, Massimiliano, 2014. "Modelling the Italian household sector at the municipal scale: Micro-CHP, renewables and energy efficiency," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 92-103.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:energy:v:68:y:2014:i:c:p:92-103
    DOI: 10.1016/

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Michał Gliński & Carsten Bojesen & Witold Rybiński & Sebastian Bykuć, 2019. "Modelling of the Biomass mCHP Unit for Power Peak Shaving in the Local Electrical Grid," Energies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(3), pages 1-14, January.
    2. Assoumou, Edi & Marmorat, Jean-Paul & Roy, Valérie, 2015. "Investigating long-term energy and CO2 mitigation options at city scale: A technical analysis for the city of Bologna," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 92(P3), pages 592-611.
    3. Comodi, Gabriele & Rossi, Mosè, 2016. "Energy versus economic effectiveness in CHP (combined heat and power) applications: Investigation on the critical role of commodities price, taxation and power grid mix efficiency," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 124-136.
    4. repec:gam:jeners:v:9:y:2016:i:4:p:239:d:66482 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Li, Wenliang & Zhou, Yuyu & Cetin, Kristen & Eom, Jiyong & Wang, Yu & Chen, Gang & Zhang, Xuesong, 2017. "Modeling urban building energy use: A review of modeling approaches and procedures," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 141(C), pages 2445-2457.
    6. Wang, Jialong & Wu, Jingyin & Wang, Hongbin, 2015. "Experimental investigation of a dual-source powered absorption chiller based on gas engine waste heat and solar thermal energy," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 680-689.
    7. Murugan, S. & Horák, Bohumil, 2016. "A review of micro combined heat and power systems for residential applications," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 144-162.
    8. González-Pino, I. & Pérez-Iribarren, E. & Campos-Celador, A. & Las-Heras-Casas, J. & Sala, J.M., 2015. "Influence of the regulation framework on the feasibility of a Stirling engine-based residential micro-CHP installation," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 575-588.
    9. Pavel Atănăsoae, 2020. "Technical and Economic Assessment of Micro-Cogeneration Systems for Residential Applications," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(3), pages 1-19, February.
    10. Arteconi, Alessia & Del Zotto, Luca & Tascioni, Roberto & Cioccolanti, Luca, 2019. "Modelling system integration of a micro solar Organic Rankine Cycle plant into a residential building," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 251(C), pages 1-1.
    11. Guillermo Rey & Carlos Ulloa & Jose Luis Míguez & Elena Arce, 2016. "Development of an ICE-Based Micro-CHP System Based on a Stirling Engine; Methodology for a Comparative Study of its Performance and Sensitivity Analysis in Recreational Sailing Boats in Different Euro," Energies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(4), pages 1-14, March.


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