17 April 2012 | Press release
Joint project to produce and transport windgas
Hanover / Hamburg, 17 April 2012. Today Greenpeace Energy and Gasunie signed a cooperation treaty to constitute their partnership in the field of power-to-gas technology (“Windgas”). Aim of the cooperation is the construction and operation of an electrolyzer by Greenpeace Energy and the feed in of the produced hydrogen in the transport system of Gasunie. Both partners see this as an important contribution to a future-oriented energy-supply. Their commitment aims at the development of innovative storage and transport solutions for renewable energy in the gas infrastructure.
In an electrolyzer electric energy is used to split water in its components oxygen and hydrogen. This chemical process is both clean and sustainable and has delivered an optimal performance in practice for decades. Subsequently the hydrogen will be feed in into the gas infrastructure. Here it is blended with natural gas. At this stage the gas infrastructure can easily absorb several percent of hydrogen. In 2013 Greenpeace Energy and Gasunie plan to put the infrastructure for production and feed in of hydrogen into operation in Northern Germany. Greenpeace Energy will supply its customers with Windgas. The produced hydrogen will be feed in and transported by Gasunie.
“The cooperation with Gasunie is a big move for us to achieve our aim to supply our gas customers with Windgas“, says Dr. Steffen Welzmiller, managing director of Greenpeace Energy. Since October 2011 Greenpeace Energy offers the tariff proWindgas. Customers get in a first step pure natural gas which will be mixed with an increasing amount of windgas. The product tariff contributes to the development of windgas technology.
“For Gasunie the partnership with Greenpeace Energy is a milestone on the way towards a sustainable energy supply”, states Jens Schumann, managing director of Gasunie Deutschland. “Starting with bio gas feed ins into our pipeline system natural gas has already a green dimension. Now we want to prove that the combination of innovative products for the energy market, reliable and safe technologies and a strong natural gas infrastructure, for which Gasunie stands, will open perspectives for the future. Natural gas infrastructure offers the ideal opportunity for the German Energiewende – in an efficient and economic reasonable way. We are happy to have with Greenpace Energy a partner on our side who stands for credibility and professionalism.
“Windgas is an essential condition for the successful implementation of the German Energiewende since it opens the existing natural gas infrastructure as a storage facility for renewable energy sources”, states Dr. Steffen Weizmiller for Greenpeace Energy. To supply Germany completely with renewable energy there is a demand for huge storage facilities. The production of electric energy from sun or wind fluctuates. Thus energy from surplus hours has to be stored to cover those hours with a minimum rate of wind or solar energy production. By transforming wind or solar power into Windgas this can be stored in the natural gas grid and retransformed to electric energy in natural gas power plants if needed.
Greenpeace Energy is Germany’s biggest independent energy co-operative and delivers more than 110,000 customers including about 8,000 business customers with clean power as well as the innovative and ecologically worthwile gas product proWindgas. Via its affiliate Planet energy Greenpeace Energy constructs clean power plants. The company runs eight wind farms and three solar power installations with a total capacity of 54 megawatts.
Gasunie is one of the biggest natural gas infrastructure companies an Germany and is responsible for the management, operation and development of a long-distance pipeline net in Northern Germany.
Dr. Philipp von Bergmann-Korn
Greenpeace Energy eG