German researchers have succeeded a technology in storing renewable electricity as natural gas. They convert the electricity into synthetic natural gas with the aid of a process. In the future they would like to store surplus electricity, such as from wind or solar energy, as climate-neutral methane, and store it in existing gas storage facilities and the natural gas network.
The missing link for integrating renewable energy into the electricity supply is a smart power storage concept.
The proces storing green electricity was developed by the Center for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Wurttemberg (ZSM) in cooporation with the Fraunhofer Institute for Wind Energy and Energy System Technology (IWES). One advantage of the technology: it can be use the natural gas infrastructure. The storage reservoir of the natural gas network extending through Germany is vast: it equals more than 200 terawatt hours, enough to satisfy consumption for several months.
Starting in 2012 researchers intend to launch a system with the capacity of approximately 10 megawatt.