07 May, 2014

Power to Gas in Sweden – location under investigation

Power to Gas could soon be a reality in Sweden. The Swedish Energy Agency has approved funding for a study that will show exactly where in the country a pilot plant can be built. Falkenberg, Gotland and Luleå are three candidates. It is predicted that Power to Gas technology – where surplus power from renewable energy sources such as wind and the sun can be utilised – will play a vital role in the energy system of the future.

Johan Zettergren, marketing manager at Swedegas, the company behind this development project, says: "There is no shortage of renewable energy. The challenge lies in making it available where it is needed, when it is needed and at competitive prices. Power to Gas allows the effective link-up of energy systems for electricity, gas and heating."

Wind power crucial in choice of location 

By funding a location study, the Swedish Energy Agency has contributed to the first step being taken towards the building of a pilot plant in Sweden. At the plant it will be possible for renewable power to be stored when production levels are high and demand is low. Three very different locations – Falkenberg, Gotland and Luleå – will be investigated further. The potential for wind and solar power production, local conditions, the level of interest and the infrastructure in the area are just some of the factors that will come into play when selecting a location for the plant. 

Apart from the project owner Swedegas, the other companies and organisations behind the project are Cementa, E.ON, Falkenberg Energi, the Swedish Gas Technology Centre, Hydrogen Sweden, ÅF, Öresundskraft and the Swedish Gas Association. A number of other companies and organisations have also shown an interest in the project. 

Recently, a report was published on the potential of Power to Gas in Sweden. It states that wind power production is increasing rapidly and last year totalled almost 10 TWh. If we reach 30 TWh by 2020, Power to Gas will have an important role to play in storing any production surplus and making the energy available when demand is high. The surplus can be transformed into hydrogen gas or biomethane and be used e.g. as a renewable fuel in the transport sector.

International expansion in progress 

It has been forecasted that Power to Gas will play an important role in the energy system of the future and there is considerable international interest in Power to Gas technology. Germany and Denmark are two countries where wind and solar power have expanded rapidly and they can now see a need for an efficient infrastructure that can both store and transport power. Germany currently has around 20 facilities.

For further information, contact Saila Horttanainen, Vice President, Corporate Communications, Swedegas, +46 (0)70 622 76 06, or Lena Berglund, Head of Communication, Swedish Gas Association, +46 (0)70-365 24 14.

Fact file: Power to Gas

Power to Gas has attracted a great deal of attention internationally and there are already around 40 facilities in operation or under construction throughout Europe, half of which are in Germany. This is a vital component in an energy system that can make full use of renewable energy such as wind power.

Large-scale expansion of wind power will eventually lead to a situation where not all electricity generated from wind power can be utilised momentarily. Instead of wasting that power, it should be utilised e.g. to produce hydrogen gas from water through electrolysis. The hydrogen gas is then used as such or let to react with carbon dioxide to form biomethane. By utilising the surplus from wind power and transforming it into biomethane, wind power can be expanded even further. At the same time, the potential for biomethane production could be doubled. 

Power to Gas is not just a way of producing gas from electricity but also a concept that helps to link up the electricity grid and the gas grid forming and energy grid.

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