The role of Natural Gas Infrastructure and Pipeline Systems to store Renewable Power
Proceedings Publication Date
Dr. Gerald Linke
Dr. Gerald Linke
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Efficient future high-capacity storage for excess wind power will likely become available when feeding in via electrolysis generated hydrogen into the natural gas transmission grid directly. By this and other means, the two different energy paths for power and gas will converge perspectively and the manifold of natural gas utilization will be become accessible for the so-called “wind-hydrogen” too.

The high volatility and unpredictability of renewable power generation leads to increasing uncoupling between power production and consumption. Development of storage technologies and construction of storage capacities are therefore of important interest for future power handling. Extension of power transmission lines goes along with high costs and long-lasting permission processes. The existing natural gas infrastructure in Germany has, due to huge gas consumption, enormous energy storage capacity available.

Surplus-power of renewable energy sources can be used to power hydrogen (H2) electrolyses and feed “green” hydrogen directly into the natural gas grid. The existing transportation pipelines from the north-sea coast to south are properly qualified for transmission of the natural gas / hydrogen composition. High-efficient gas steam combined cycle power plants as well as multiple distributed and decentralized combined heat & power (CHP) plants can quickly and flexibly compensate temporarily renewable power reduction on demand.

The speaker will describe carrying capacity possibilities and limits of the natural gas infrastructure for hydrogen and exemplarily depict costs/benefit considerations.