The legislation of various European countries imposes limits on the demand for building heating and cooling in order to reduce the primary energy consumptions. Moreover, the legislation prescribes that a fraction of the demand for building cooling, heating and power must be met through renewable energy sources. Among renewable energy systems, wind power, solar photovoltaic, solar thermal energy, solar cooling and heat pumps (though only “partially” renewable) have to be mentioned. In this framework combined heat and power (CHP) systems can provide a further solution to reduce the primary energy consumption. Due to the availability of different technologies, a key factor is the choice of the allocation strategy which allows the division of the energy demands among the various technologies in order to minimize the primary energy consumption. Since the cost of the technologies and the actual tariff and incentive scenarios depend on the specific country and may lead to not optimal allocation strategies in terms of primary energy consumption, these economic parameters are not taken into consideration in the analysis. Therefore, the obtained solutions represent a target which the policies should aim to achieve. This paper aims to develop and apply a methodology for the optimal allocation of the demand among CHP and renewable energy systems, with the aim of minimizing the primary energy consumption, by accounting for legislative constraints. The methodology is then applied to different climatic scenarios to evaluate the effects of a variation of the demand and technology characteristics on the allocation of the loads. Moreover, an analysis on the combined effects is presented. Finally, some guidelines are obtained.
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