Eleven companies in Europe joined forces in the newly established North Sea Power to Gas Platform to further develop the concept of Power-to-Gas (P2G): the conversion of renewable power into gas.
P2G will play an increasingly important role in our future energy system, as it reduces temporal surpluses of renewable power by converting these surpluses into gases. As these gases can be used for different purposes such as transportation, domestic heating, as feedstock for the chemical industry and power generation, the potential value of P2G is considerable.
The Platform is an initiative of energy consulting and testing and certification company, DNV KEMA, and includes Fluxys Belgium and Hydrogenics (Belgium); Energinet.dk and Maersk Oil (Denmark); Alliander, Gasunie and TenneT (Netherlands); ITM Power and National Grid (U.K.); and Open Grid Europe (Germany).
The share of electricity from renewable sources in the European electricity mix is increasing. As the power generation from wind and solar fluctuates, the match between renewable power supply and demand is becoming more challenging. At the same time, there are additional challenges to transmit the increasing volumes of renewable power from wind or solar farms to end users. The gas infrastructure can accommodate large volumes of electricity converted into gas in case that the supply of renewable power is larger than the grid capacity or than the electricity demand. As a result, P2G enables the share of renewables in the energy mix to increase, making this innovation an important topic in achieving a carbon-neutral gas supply in 2050.
P2G is of particular interest for the North Sea area as its on- and off-shore natural gas infrastructure is well developed. In addition, the combined generating capacity of offshore wind farms on the North Sea could reach around 100 GW by the year 2030, while the PV capacity installed in the countries surrounding the North Sea is expected to increase from 35 GW in 2012 to almost 60 GW in 2020.
The North Sea Power to Gas Platform is a joint body, based on an integrated network of stakeholders, aiming to further develop the concept of P2G in the countries surrounding the North Sea. The Platform collaborates with the European Gas Research Group (GERG), the Mediterranean Power2Gas Platform (currently being established), as well as shipping companies, NGO's, utilities, energy technology providers, Transmission System Operators and Distribution System Operators.