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Kampagne von Zukunft ERDGAS gestartetGRÜNER ALS DU DENKST
two sides of the same coinPipeline construction and nature conservation
We are ready to boldly tread now ground.The future waits for no one!
What will the energy industry look like in the year 2050? And what consequences will that have for the gas market? Interesting questions, which are prompting the publication of ever more studies and forecasts to find answers. Even though many of these studies differ in their specific figures and results, they have one thing in common: they describe an energy world that doesn’t have a lot in common with the one we are familiar with today. The general consensus is that renewable energies will play an ever greater role, as will climate protection and energy efficiency.
The Energy Reference Forecast, on which large parts of the German energy and climate policy are based, depicts the following image of the market, for example:
 See “Development of Energy Markets – Energy Reference Forecast”, commissioned by the German Ministry of Economics (BMWi) from Prognos AG, the Institute of Energy Economics at the University of Cologne (EWI) and the Institute of Economic Structure Research (GWS), 2014.
Germany’s energy transition has almost doubled the share of renewables such as wind, biomass, solar and hydro in power generation in only five years between 2010 and 2015 from 17 percent to 32 percent. But, when it comes to providing a country with a safe and reliable electricity supply, there is more to it than generation alone. Electricity generated from renewable sources still has to be transported to the consumer and has to be stored in sufficient quantities to ensure a constant supply on still, foggy February days as well as on windy or sunny July days. Current battery storage technology is not yet capable of reliably storing large quantities of electricity over long periods.
One solution for storing large quantities of electricity over long periods is the idea of using the gas infrastructure, that is to say the gas pipeline system and underground storage facilities, for this purpose. This technology is known as power-to-gas. The process initially involves using electricity in an electrolysis process to break water down into its constituent parts of oxygen and hydrogen. While the oxygen is released into the atmosphere or used in industrial applications, for example, the hydrogen can be used in many different ways to act as a source of energy. It can, for example, be used as fuel for cars and trains, in which the combustion engine has been replaced by fuel cells, or limited quantities can be fed into the gas pipeline network. If, after electrolysis, carbon dioxide is added in a second step to convert the hydrogen into synthetic methane, the main component of natural gas, there is no limit to the amount that can be transported and stored in the gas infrastructure. The synthetic methane produced in this way has the same properties as conventional natural gas. It can therefore completely replace natural gas in all applications, from electricity generation and industrial processes right through to domestic heating.
The existing German gas pipeline network is already equipped for transporting and storing large quantities of energy. Its 500,000 km of pipelines already transport nearly 1,000 billion kilowatt hours of energy. Compared with the 540 billion kilowatt hours transported by the German electricity network every year, that is nearly double the transport potential, which we cannot afford to ignore. The gas infrastructure is also greatly superior to the electricity infrastructure in terms of its storage capability. While the theoretical storage range of the electricity grid is 0.6 hours, that of the gas storage facilities is 2,000 hours, which is nearly three months.Power-to-gas: gas from wind and sun
The energy transition has consequences for all players in the market, and as a result costs have been rising. Individual stakeholders like Open Grid Europe are responding to this development in very different ways. Gas trading and storage, transmission capacities and, not least, costs: our video shows you what links up to what and how Open Grid Europe is attempting to counter the cost explosion resulting from the energy transformation with efficient products and intelligent solutions.
[November 2014]The consequences of the energy transition
The 2014 gas network development plan (NDP) and the subsequent NDPs currently under discussion contain a number of agreed construction measures to optimise the natural gas infrastructure in Germany and at the border crossing points.
These expansion projects are based on the capacity calculations made as part of the 2013 and 2014 NDPs. The network expansion measures set out in these plans are to boost the capacity of the natural gas transmission system from the north to the south and vice versa.
Open Grid Europe is a top employer in Germany – again in 2018!Top Employers Germany
The energy system of the future will consist of numerous plants for energy production and consumption, as well as for storage. Production will increasingly take place locally. Intelligent distribution networks and facilities will govern the transportation of energy. Here, technicians in telecommunication and automation will be increasingly involved. IT will play a central role, because in the energy system of the future energy pathways and solutions will be virtually and digitally networked to an even greater extent. Be it cloud-based services, big data, smart grids, smart metering or e-mobility – the development can be seen in numerous mega-trends. One thing is clear: digital networking and information processing permit entirely new solution approaches from the production, procurement, trade and distribution of energy, to complex energy management for industry and commerce, through to a control app for private customers.