Energy Democracy

Energy storage in the form of electricity-based gases

What's the challenge?

The transformation of the German energy system towards the use of exclusively renewable energy sources requires the comprehensive expansion of → volatile energy sources, as our potential of base-loadable renewable energy sources (hydropower, biomass, biogas) is not sufficient to cover the total energy demand. Due to the → volatility in electricity supply, security of supply within the framework of a completely renewable energy supply in Germany can only be ensured by the widespread use of storage technologies. Already today, transmission system operators (electricity) must have large amounts of renewable energy switched off as part of network and system security measures (feed-in management - EinsMan).

What's the measure?

Promotion and use of storage technologies - especially long-term storage forms, such as the use of surplus renewable electricity to produce gases (hydrogen or synthetic methane)

How can the implementation look like?

The technologies required for this are already ready for use. However, the current economic policy framework prevents the establishment of long-term storage facilities on the market. Legal regulations must, therefore, be introduced to promote the storage of surplus electricity. Possible measures include:

  • Release from charges and levies for storage technologies
  • Support of measures, which protect the feed-in management from interventions

How does this work against climate change?

The storage of energy in electricity-based gases enables a demand-oriented energy supply in a renewable energy system, which is largely based on → volatile energy sources. In addition, the substitution of fossil hydrogen by renewable hydrogen is possible in the basic industry, in iron-ore-reduction, and in the chemical industry. In the mobility sector, electricity-based, CO2-neutral fuel can replace fossil energy sources. This is particularly true in the heavy-duty transport sector, shipping, ...

Which other effects does this measure have?

Additional benefits can be achieved in the context of sector coupling by storing renewable electrical energy in the form of gas. For the transport and storage of gases (hydrogen, methane) the existing natural gas infrastructure can be used to some extent. In addition, the gases can be used in a variety of ways (e.g. in the chemical industry, mobility, power and heat generation). Current studies (e.g. dena Leitstudie, agora → enegry turnaround) predict that the national generation capacity for renewable electricity will not be able to fully cover Germany's energy needs. According to these studies, the energy sector in Germany will continue to be dependent on imported energy sources in the future. As a result, it will become independent of trading partners for fossil fuels and dependent on countries with a surplus of renewable energy sources.

Continuative literature, sources

  1. De Gruyter : Power-to-Gas: Renewable Hydrogen Economy for the Energy Transition (2018, abgerufen am 01.03.2020)
  2. Quaschning, Volker: Eneuerbare Energien und Klimaschutz (4. Auflage 2018, )
  3. Deutsche Verein des Gas- und Wasserfaches e.V. (DVGW): Erneuerbare Gase sind ein Schlüssel zur Energiewende (abgerufen am 01.03.2020)
  4. Bundesnetzagentur: Netz- und Sys­tem­si­cher­heit (abgerufen am 01.03.2020)
  5. Deutsche Energie-Agentur GmbH (DENA): dena-Leitstudie Integrierte Energiewende Impulse für die Gestaltung des Energiesystems bis 2050 (2018, abgerufen am 01.03.2020)
  6. Agora Energiewende: Die Energiewende im Stromsektor: Stand der Dinge 2019 (2019, abgerufen am 01.03.2020)