Power to gas
Energy from renewable sources offers many benefits. Nevertheless, its intermittent availability complicates the process of balancing supply with demand. Power-to-Gas offers a real solution for power supply system backup going forward.
The Power-to-Gas principle is based on storing surplus energy from renewable sources by converting it to hydrogen or methane syngas. The existing natural gas pipeline networks can also carry the resulting hydrogen and/or methane, facilitating the storage and transportation of these gases, which can then be blended with natural gas. “Power-to-Gas” exists at the intersection between many different ENGIE areas of expertise in energy and services:
- power generation from renewable sources
- energy management
- energy services
- natural gas marketing
This project to promote green electricity will therefore inject a new level of flexibility into the energy supply system through the production of hydrogen, and maximizes the proportion of energy from renewable sources in French energy consumption. Power-to-gas therefore responds effectively to the intermittent availability of energy from renewable sources.
At present, the main applications for hydrogen are industrial, but there is no doubt that over the last 10 years or so, European – and particularly German – initiatives have developed rapidly to the point where hydrogen is becoming a realistic response to the challenges posed by energy supply and climate change. For example, Germany has adopted a strategy for introducing hydrogen-powered vehicles and buildings by 2020, using either internal combustion or fuel cell technologies.
Hydrogen is regularly cited as the energy source of the future, because it offers an effective response to two of the main energy challenges of the 21st century: the gradual depletion of non-renewable energy sources, and the need to cut greenhouse gas emissions and local sources of pollution. Pollution is effectively eliminated, because hydrogen combustion releases only water.
The key benefit of hydrogen is its ability to generate energy, particularly electricity. For example, hydrogen makes it possible to consider zero-pollution (electric) vehicles with a long range between recharges and a high level of energy efficiency.
The International Energy Agency believes that hydrogen should ‘play a crucial role’ in the global economy, but that its production, storage and transportation require more advanced technological optimization, meaning that its widespread introduction can be realistically envisaged in the period 2025-2030.
- New products and offers: NG-H2 gas distributed via the natural gas pipeline network, Hythane® fuel for vehicles, and VNG vehicles adapted for use with Hythane fuel
- Innovative technologies driven by French companies: electrolyzers, storage technologies, H2 management (arbitrage), production and storage tools
- A solution for the transportation of hydrogen via NG-H2 blending