Power-to-gas uses electrolysis to break water down into its constituent parts of oxygen and hydrogen. The hydrogen can be stored along with natural gas in pipelines, or used in fuel cell vehicles. An additional step called methanisation converts the hydrogen into renewable natural gas (RNG), which can be stored in those same pipelines to be used later in a variety of industrial and domestic applications. But just how effective is it? And how does it compare to lithium-ion batteries? Last year, research funded by SoCalGas at University of California demonstrated that power-to-gas could enable them to increase the campus’ mix of renewables in their microgrid tenfold, from a relatively minor 3.5 percent up to a hugely significant 35 percent. Such a huge jump is certainly a great argument in favour of the system’s efficacy, and it compares extremely favourable with lithium-ion, at least in terms of cost. According to Matt Gregori, technology development manager at Southern California Gas, their pipeline system has about 13 tWh of equivalent electricity storage. That level of storage using battery storage facilities would cost about $2.6 trillion. It is indeed the ability to use existing infrastructure that makes power-to-gas so appealing. The North Sea for example, has an existing gas infrastructure. It is also home to offshore wind farms, with the green light having recently been given to construction of the world’s largest wind farm, which is scheduled to come online in 2023. The Hornsea Two project, along with its sister site Hornsea One will have the potential to generate nearly 2.6GW, enough to power in excess of two million homes. Using the preexisting gas pipeline infrastructure for power-to-gas will be a cost-effective way of ensuring that power can satisfy the demand of those homes, as and when it is needed.
Oil Price 17th March 2018 read more »