How does Power-to-Gas work?
When it’s winter and the sun won’t shine and the wind won’t blow.
Power from renewable energies is the power of the future, but we produce more of it in summer than in winter. At the same time, on winter days when there’s not much sun or wind, we need extra energy for heating and light. How do we manage to retrieve the power generated in summer for use during the winter?
Right now, this power cannot be stored successfully.
The solution? Converting power from renewable energies into hydrogen. This so-called “green gas” can then be transported via our nationwide gas network and stored within it.
Full utilization of cleaner energy
Wind power and photovoltaic systems are being developed ever more. That’s a good thing in general, but it doesn’t help on winter days when it’s cloudy, cold and there is no wind. At times like this, the wind turbines remain motionless. Nor is there solar radiation for photovoltaic systems.
Right now, we don’t have a way of storing power over the seasons. By way of comparison: All the energy storage systems combined can provide for nationwide energy consumption for 20 minutes, while the gas infrastructure can store enough gas to power nationwide energy consumption for three months.
Es gibt heute keine Möglichkeit, Strom saisonübergreifend zu speichern. Zum Vergleich: Alle Stromspeicher zusammen können den deutschlandweiten Stromverbrauch für 20 Minuten bedienen. Die Gasinfrastruktur speichert den deutschlandweiten Energieverbrauch von drei Monaten.
The green energy generated during the summer splits water into oxygen (O2) and hydrogen (H2). The process involved here is electrolysis.
The hydrogen can be used directly for energy purposes, or it can be further developed with the addition of carbon dioxide, ideally from biogas plants — then it’s renewable. This produces methane (CH4).
Ready for the gas network of the future.
Hydrogen can be fed into the gas pipeline network, currently only to a limited extent, but in greater quantities in future.
Unlimited feed-in — and utilization.
Methane can already be fed into the existing gas pipeline network without limitation.
With its network infrastructure, OGE takes care of the transportation of hydrogen and methane.
Storage in tanks and pipelines
Hydrogen can already be stored in separate tanks and in the modified gas pipeline network — in future also in adapted natural gas storage facilites.
Using natural gas storage facilities
Methane can be fed into natural gas storage facilities – in astonishingly large quantities.
Stored for the long term,
retrievable at short notice.
Power, heat, mobility
Hydrogen and methane can be used in various ways: in small-scale cogeneration units, highly flexible gas-fired power plants, and for heat supply. Green hydrogen is also a clean energy source for electric vehicles with fuel cells and those running purely on hydrogen.
No wind, no sun, no problem
When the sun won’t shine and the wind won’t blow, green gas can be turned back into power — and thus supply the networks with energy.
Power for the future
Power-to-Gas harbours tremendous potential for storing power generated in the summer for use in the winter. The technology is there and the prerequisites are in place. Let’s make use of this pioneering solution!