Gas infrastructure & energy transition
By enabling the usage of renewable electricity in our system, Gasunie has the potential to become a powerful partner in the energy transition. One thing is for sure, we want to use this potential.
The gas infrastructure as an opportunity for the energy transtition in north Germany
If we want to achieve future climate goals at economically justifiable costs, it makes sense to include gas and the gas infrastructure in the solution. Today, the gas network still carries twice as much energy as the electricity power grid. The formula for success is the sectoral link between electricity and gas - in other words, the joint consideration of the electricity, heat and transport sectors. These sectors have so far been mostly taken into account independently of each other.
Wind power as a challenge
Niedersachsen and Schleswig-Holstein, also known as the federal states in which Gasunie Deutschland is active, are innovators when it comes to generating power from wind energy. The expansion of this system is set to continue until 2035, both onshore and offshore. Due to high volatility of gas usage and dissimilarity with the demand for energy, the increased share of wind power leads to a surplus in energy that cannot be used in practice or a shortage compared to demand. This problem is also related to the inadequate transport capability and storage options. And at the same time, the expansion of the electricity grid in southern Germany meets technical/economical limits and dwindling acceptance of the society.
The proces within a power-to-gas plant
Power-to-gas - not only a solution of north Germany
The picture above presents the power-to-gas technology that produces hydrogen by electrolyzing electrical energy. This hydrogen can easily be fed in the gas transport network up to a certain concentration level. By combining hydrogen and CO2, synthetic methane can be generated in a second step. This type of methane can also be transported in our system, stored if necessary and put into use again by gas-fired power plants.
Renewable electricity, which is converted into gas by means of power-to-gas installations, can also make a sustainable contribution to climate in the heat and mobility sector. Power-to-gas is a well-engineered technology, and the gas infrastructure in Niedersachsen offers an optimal starting position for its application. Transmission networks, local gas distribution grids and gas storage facilities ensure the security of supply. Furthermore it allows for cost-effective transport with low/medium levels of CO2 energy carriers. For this reason, the gas infrastructure is much more than just a huge battery.
2050: a 100% climate-neutral energy supply
Gasunie, as a founding member of the European Green Gas Initiative, has set itself the goal of achieving a 100% climate-neutral gas transport infrastructure by 2050. The transport of hydrogen, synthetic methane or biogas are the decisive steps to achieve this goal.