Germany: Storage test for the "energiewende"

The two-year project which will start in January next year will be conducted by Etogas, juwi technologies, the Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research or ZSW, the Reiner Lemoine Institute, and RWE Germany.

According to Etogas (formerly known as SolarFuel GmbH), the research team aims to analyze how power-to-gas can contribute to the so-called German "Energiewende" or energy revolution. A model region will be examined to see how the storage technology performs under a complete renewable energy scenario.

The potential will be measured and simulations will be made via the development of a test facility which will operate under real-world conditions. The test facility will be located in Morbach im Hunsr├╝ck, in Rhineland-Palatinate. The project is being supported by the German Environment Ministry.

"Many regions are already getting their daily electricity supply from wind and sun power. This is also being planned for the whole of Germany," explained Gregor Waldstein, founder and head of Etogas. "We are testing our storage technology, power-to-gas, exactly for such a situation," he added.

In an electricity supply system with a high percentage of renewable power, the generated electricity needs to be stored in large quantities over weeks at times. This electricity also needs to be released really quickly when the demand calls for it. For such situations, as Etogas states, hydrogen and methane especially, can enable the feed-in into the gas grid.

Etogas has already been working on various power-to-gas projects including a 250 kW plant that went into operation last December.