Synergies between Gas and Power Grids

Use of Gas Networks and Gas Storages for the Integration of Electricity from Renewable Energies and for the Relief of the Power Grid Expansion

  • Project no.1179
  • Duration 07/2011 - 01/2013

The politically intended strong expansion of renewable energies (RE) so far is mainly connected to the question as to how fast and extensive the power grid has to be developed and to which extend extra storage capacity is needed. The potentially big importance of existing gas grid and gas storages, which can be used for the feed-in of RE-produced hydrogen or also synthetic methane is often ignored. Though mentioned in the "dena Netzstudie II" as unexploited potential as "electricity storage" with a capacity of converted 130bn kWhel via reconversion of electricity in combined gas and steam power plants, it wasn't included in the calculations of the study. By a synchronous but spatially separated combination of "power storage" (power-to-gas) and power generation (gas-to-power), the existing gas infrastructure could in principle also be used for a long-range "power transport". In the framework of this project, the feasibility of this option as well as its synergies with the power grid expansion were examined in the light of the faltering power grid expansion.

Against this background, the aim of this study was to answer the following questions:

  • How great is the need for the expansion of the power grid and for energy storages from today's perspective (meta-analysis) and what role does power-to-gas play?
  • Which technical potentials and synergy effects provides the existing gas infrastructure in Germany for relieving the power grid expansion?
  • Which costs arise today and in the future and which costs can possibly be reduced this way?
  • Which obstacles must be considered and how can they possibly be overcome?