The usage of renewable energy sources wind and solar photovoltaics have grown increasingly in recent years and become vital to support global carbon footprint reduction goals. But the wind isn’t always blowing, and the sun isn’t always shining, which creates a grid stabilisation issue as well as the need for large scale energy storage.
An innovative energy solution that can be used to match unpredictable supply and demand is Power-to-Gas (P2G). The hybrid solution integrates renewable generation by converting surplus renewable energy into hydrogen using electrolysis. The hydrogen produced can be used to power cars, buses and trains, or it can be injected into the existing natural gas network for use at a later date.
Whilst traditional energy storage technologies such as batteries typically work well in smaller-scale applications for capturing, storing and discharging electricity at a single location, P2G represents an entirely new energy storage paradigm. It is a scalable technology which provides virtually unlimited energy storage capacity at grid scale terawatt hours (TWh). It allows the energy to be stored for a day, or seasonally, and be discharged at ay place on the gas or electric system where it is needed most using the existing natural gas infrastructure already in place.
At the heart of the P2G solution is the electrolyser, which converts surplus renewable generation to hydrogen using a process called electrolysis, while providing dynamic frequency regulation services for the grid. Electrolysis uses electricity to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. The hydrogen gas can then be stored as fuel, either in storage tanks or directly injected into the existing natural gas grid. When injected into the grid, the hydrogen can displace natural gas, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and reliance on high-carbon fuels.
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