Power-to-Gas – An Opportunity Utilities Should Be Thinking About

Power-to-gas offers opportunity for sharing increasing amounts of excess wind and solar power.
Published: Fri 12 Dec 2014

Power-to-gas, in which electricity is converted into hydrogen for storage and reuse, will enable the development of a grid-scale smart grid, Filip Smeets, General Manager of Hydrogenics, told Engerati in an interview at European Utility Week 2014.

“Basically power-to-gas provides an interconnector to connect the electricity grid with the gas grid, transportation network and industry,” says Smeets. “That’s something that doesn’t’ exist today, and it gives the possibility to build a new infrastructure based on low fossil technology.”

Power-to-gas demonstration in Copenhagen

Describing the technologies under development by Hydrogenics – including a water electrolyser technology and hydrogen fuel cells – Smeets goes on to describe a demonstration project participation in Copenhagen. At a wastewater treatment facility, development is under way of a 1MW electrolyser coupled to a bioreactor. Hydrogen produced from excess local wind power will be bubbled with CO2 present in the raw biogas to produce renewable methane for injection into the city’s gas distribution network. [Engerati-BioCat Project update - Power-to-gas via biological catalysis]

“The opportunity for power-to-gas will be enormous,” says Smeets. “Based on projections for Europe after 2020 the amounts of excess wind and solar that will be not be able to be integrated into the energy mix will be close to the total electricity generation capacity [of Europe] at that time.”