Ludwig-Bölkow-Systemtechnik (LSBT), the Germany-based consultancy for sustainable energy and mobility, has reported that Power-to-Gas (PtG) is increasingly used in a number of industrial size applications in Germany.
That’s according to Munich-based TÜV SÜD, who describes PtG projects in Germany as being on a ‘steep path of expansion’.
At the time of LBST’s report, 50 plants with a total electrical capacity of approx. 50 MW were in operation or planned.
Since then, further PtG projects with a total of 600 MW electrolysis capacity have been announced in Germany – more than a ten-fold increase within one year.
PtG technology converts electric energy into hydrogen or, by subsequent synthesis, into methane or liquid energy carriers. It is seen as important to sector coupling, which links the electricity, heat and gas sectors – as well as the mobility sector – and enables a better balancing of fluctuations (or grid balancing) in renewable energies and low emission mobility.
LSBT, an associated company of TÜV SÜD AG, notes that an analysis of its own PtG database shows that more than 300 PtG projects had been announced worldwide by the end of 2019. During the last six months alone, more construction capacity has been announced than in the last six years altogether.
At the same time, PtG systems have increased in size, and several electrolysers with an electrical capacity of more than 30 MW will be built in Germany in the next few years. The projects focus on sector coupling in particular, using hydrogen technologies.
Larger plants are also in the planning process in neighbouring countries too. However, Germany is assuming a pioneering role, particularly with its ‘living labs’ projects. The Federal Government also supports other hydrogen regions in Germany in the context of the ‘HyLand’ funding programme; in December 2019, 13 ‘HyExpert’ regions and three ‘HyPerfomer’ regions were selected for the development of hydrogen concepts and the implementation of specific project concepts.
TÜV SÜD explains that presently, around 50 million Nm³ of hydrogen per day are used in German industry, largely produced from fossil fuel sources, with over 20 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) released annually as a result.