EXPRESS #1 - October 23, 2018
Last week on Energy Post we wrote in detail about the theoretical potential of power-to-gas technology, on the basis of a study from the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies (OIES), this week we have a concrete project to announce – still a pilot plant, but of reasonable size (100 MW).
Grid operators Tennet, Gasunie Deutschland and Thyssengas announced “detailed plans for coupling the electricity and gas grids and advancing the energy transition”, the companies said in a press release. “The three grid operators are planning to build a power-to-gas pilot plant in Lower Saxony; at an output of 100 megawatts, it will be the largest of its kind in Germany.”
The project – called Element One – would collect power from Tennet’s substations in Diele and Conneforde, in the northern state of Lower Saxony, for conversion into hydrogen.
That could then be transported by the gas network to users in the industrial and transport sectors.
The three partners hope the plant will begin operating from 2022. No details of cost or investment plans were given.
Tennet says it believes that “there is great potential in power-to-gas technologies, as they can introduce a urgently needed level of flexibility into the power grid.”
“We need powerful storage technologies if we want to achieve our ambitious expansion target for renewable energy by 2030. The ability to store large volumes of renewable electricity will reduce the load on the power grid. That, in turn, helps us limit the expensive curtailment of wind turbines and make the power supply more reliable,” Lex Hartman, Managing Director of Tennet, commented.
He added: “Storing more green energy also entails a reduced need for further grid expansion after 2030.”
“Power-to-gas technologies are crucial if we want to achieve our climate targets for 2030 and 2050,” Jens Schumann, Managing Director of Gasunie Deutschland, emphasised. “Especially the concept of sector coupling – the intelligent, economical integration of gas, electricity, heat and transport infrastructures – offers immense potential that is yet to be unlocked. Power-to-gas technologies are extremely relevant in this respect, as they constitute a practical solution for connecting previously separate infrastructures.”
Power-to-gas is increasingly seen as a key enabler of Europe’s future energy economy, especially given its potential to cross over into sectors such as mobility and heating, notes Recharge News.
The website writes that Germany’s attempt to build power transmission infrastructure linking the windy north to demand centres in the south has been a delayed and controversial process in the country.
The Süddeutsche Zeitung last week reported that Germany’s energy ministry is drafting a law to accelerate the development of the country’s electricity. The draft, seen by the paper, will include streamlining the planning procedure, particularly where new power transmission lines are going to follow existing routes. It also includes new options for penalising property owners and grid operators who delay expansion works. The law is currently being reviewed by other ministries and is due to be voted on in parliament in December.