Smart energy systems

Storing energy from wind, sun and waves

When wind power is expanded, there will be a greater need to store electricity in order to make full use of its potential. As opposed to hydropower, wind power and other so-called intermittent energy sources, such as solar power and wave power, cannot be controlled, regulated or stored. Generally, the energy must be used the very second it is produced.

This is not a problem as long as the intermittent energy sources account for a marginal proportion of energy supplies. But when it is expanded significantly there will be periods when 'surplus electricity' is produced and the price of electricity is forced down substantially. Once the planning target in Sweden of 30 TWh of wind power is achieved, this surplus is expected to generate 2-3 TWh of biogas (methane) – energy that would otherwise have been lost.

Power to Gas is thus a means of utilising this surplus. It links up the different energy systems – electricity, gas and heat – and facilitates effective utilisation of all available energy resources. 

Storage capability important

There are already very low and sometimes negative electricity prices in certain areas of Denmark and Germany where there is an abundance of wind power. To utilise the full potential of wind power, it must be possible to store the electricity.