E.ON inaugurates power-to-gas unit in Falkenhagen in eastern Germany
Thursday, Aug 29, 2013E.ON inaugurated a power-to-gas (P2G) unit in Falkenhagen in eastern Germany today. The unit uses wind power to run electrolysis equipment that transforms water into hydrogen which is injected into the regional gas transmission system. The hydrogen becomes part of the natural gas mix and can be used in a variety of applications, including space heating, industrial processes, mobility, and power generation. The unit, which has a capacity of two megawatts, can produce 360 cubic meters of hydrogen per hour.
“This project makes E.ON one of the first companies to demonstrate that surplus energy can be stored in the gas pipeline system in order to help balance supply against demand,” said Dr. Ingo Luge, CEO of E.ON Deutschland. “This method of energy storage is considered a key technology for the transformation of Germany’s energy system. It will reduce the need to take wind turbines offline when the local grid is congested and will therefore enable us to harness more wind power.”
E.ON built and is operating the P2G unit in partnership with Swissgas AG, which will procure some of the unit’s hydrogen output. “Swissgas’s involvement in this project demonstrates the significant value of Switzerland’s gas infrastructure, which enables us to transport and store regenerative energy across national boundaries,” emphasized Dr. Heinrich Schwendener, member of the Board of Management of Swissgas.
The inauguration ceremony was attended by Dr. Philipp Rösler (Germany’s Economics Minister), Dr. Christian Ehler (member of the European Parliament), Henning Heidemanns (State Secretary in the Ministry of Economics and European Affairs of the Federal State of Brandenburg), and about 200 other guests from the realms of politics, industry, and science.
“One of the biggest challenges of transforming Germany’s energy system is finding ways to integrate the increasing share of intermittent, renewable-source energy,” said Minister Rösler. “To ensure that Germany’s power system remains stable and that our economy continues to have the energy it needs, we not only have to rapidly expand energy networks. We also need innovative solutions like the P2G unit here in Falkenhagen.”
E.ON built the unit in Falkenhagen because the location is ideal. The region has a high output of wind power, the necessary power and gas infrastructure is already on hand, and E.ON has a control center there.
The unit uses proven technology. This makes the project well suited to serve as a platform for gathering technical and regulatory experience in the construction and operation of P2G storage units. This experience will represent an important step toward making P2G technology ready for the mass market.
The pilot unit in Falkenhagen also exemplifies E.ON’s wide range of activities in the areas of innovation and technology. The purpose of these activities is to develop and nurture new business areas until they are mature enough to be integrated into existing or newly created E.ON business units. This broad spectrum of technologies encompasses efficient generation in large-scale power plants, new developments and refinements in renewables, grids, energy storage, and mobility as well as innovative solutions for customers in the areas of distributed generation and energy management.
This press release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by E.ON Group management and other information currently available to E.ON. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. E.ON SE does not intend, and does not assume any liability whatsoever, to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.