Hydrogen from green electricity on an industrial scale: hybridge.
With their "hybridge" project, Amprion and OGE are looking to further develop sector coupling at system level in Germany. The project partners are planning to build a 100 MW electrolyser in the Emsland district in the next few years and establish a hydrogen infrastructure. Our goal is to advance power-to-gas technology so that it can be used on an industrial scale.
Power-to-gas technology is playing a key role in the transformation of our energy system. It can be used to convert green electricity into hydrogen for use in other sectors, and it allows us to use the gas infrastructure to store renewables.
"We have now reached a stage in hybridge planning process that allows us to enter the approval phase," said Dr Thomas Hüwener, member of the OGE Board of Management. "But we still need the go-ahead from politics. This now has to come quickly," Hüwener added, "so that sector coupling at system level can contribute to achieving the Paris climate targets.
Dr Klaus Kleinekorte, Chief Technical Officer of Amprion, said: "Germany's climate targets, the nuclear phase-out and the looming coal phase-out represent an enormous challenge for our energy system. We must therefore create the conditions now to ensure that power-to-gas will be available on a gigawatt scale after 2030 and that sector coupling at system level will be possible."
Lingen region – the ideal pilot region
The project partners have found the ideal site for a power-to-gas plant on this scale, which will have an electrolyser to convert electricity from renewable energies into green hydrogen, part of which will subsequently be turned into green methane. The site is located at an intersection between the Amprion and OGE grids in the Lingen region on the border between Lower Saxony and North Rhine-Westphalia. Amprion plans to build a 100 MW electrolyser, while OGE will convert an existing gas pipeline into a pure hydrogen pipeline. The partners expect the project costs to be around 150 million euro.
Hüwener explained: "In the Lingen area we have ideal conditions for building a hydrogen network. The hydrogen can be used directly by companies. There is also a hydrogen filling and loading station in the region. The natural gas storage facilities in the region can be converted to hydrogen in the future. Part of the existing gas network can also be used for the transportation of pure hydrogen. In the long term, further parts of the gas infrastructure can be converted to ship hydrogen to the Ruhr Area and beyond. We can also add small quantities of hydrogen to the gas flow or, after conversion to methane, feed it directly into the natural gas pipeline system.
Market participants can use infrastructure on a non-discriminatory basis
Amprion’s and OGE’s basic plan for sector coupling at system level is to make the planned infrastructure required for coupling their grids available to all market players on a non-discriminatory basis ("third-party access"). The energy transmitted via both grids will at no time be owned by the grid operators.
The limited "bridge capacity" between electricity and gas infrastructure will be auctioned off to traders or direct customers. The proceeds of these auctions will be set off against the costs, which will reduce the costs for shippers. This principle has long been established throughout Europe for cross-border electricity interconnectors and gas transmission capacities.
The ball is in politicians' court
"We want to successfully implement this technology for the German economy on an industrial scale. We have everything we need: a technical concept, a suitable location and potential hydrogen users. We’re ready to start," said Hüwener. "All we need now is regulatory approval to implement the project. The ball is in the politicians' court. If we get the go-ahead now, the plant can can be online as early as 2023," added Kleinekorte.
For more information please visit the hybridge project website.