We are also generated and stored from wind or solar energy

Publié le 13 November 2020

Lecture 3 min

Thanks to Power-to-Gas technology, we convert and store surplus wind and solar energy.

The energy produced using wind turbines and solar panels has its advantages: it is local, renewable and readily-available. But it can only be produced intermittently. Therefore it fluctuates and can be difficult to predict. Some days, very little is produced. Conversely, in the event of high winds or very sunny days, its production capacity leads to surpluses which go to waste due to the lack of technical ability to store them in large volumes over long periods.

 

With an increasing amount of renewable electricity being integrated into our production methods, instances where supply exceeds demand will also become more frequent. Therefore, conserving these surpluses is becoming a crucial energy concern.

The uncertainties of wind and solar power are being controlled

Power-to-Gas provides a solution. Using this technology, surplus electricity from renewable sources is converted into hydrogen via the electrolysis of water. Using an electric current, water is transformed into oxygen or hydrogen gas. The hydrogen produced is used on site or injected into existing networks, either as it is or after methanation is carried out. Hydrogen, combined with CO2, is then converted into synthetic methane. Unlike electricity, the advantage of this hydrogen transformed into methane is that it can be easily stored over long periods.

The energy mix will take a different form with Power-to-Gas

Power-to-Gas technology makes it possible to recover and store renewable electricity surpluses more efficiently but also to put them to use for different purposes for example, for heating, hot water or mobility. It also offers the advantage of decarbonising industry by capturing and recovering the CO2 emitted by surrounding sites and recycling it via methanation. Injecting it into the gas networks will make it easier to integrate intermittent renewable energies into the energy mix and will increase their share of total energy consumption.

At the intersection of decarbonised energies

Today, renewable gases are emerging as the intersection of decarbonised energies. They are leading us to a paradigm shift, to change our thinking about energies by transforming them and enhancing how they compliment each other, rather than opposing them.

 

The success of the French energy transition and achieving our greenhouse gas reduction targets will certainly depend on how we approach the compatibility of different decarbonised resources. Power-to-Gas is now emerging as one of the most suitable technologies for tackling this major challenge.