How Power-To-Gas Technology Can Be Green and Profitable


Hydrogen production based on wind power can already be commercially viable today. 

Hydrogen production based on wind power can already be commercially viable today. Until now, it was generally assumed that this environmentally friendly power-to-gas technology could not be implemented profitably. Economists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), the University of Mannheim and Stanford University have now described, based on the market situations in Germany and Texas, how flexible production facilities could make this technology a key component in the transition of the energy system.

From fertilizer production, as a coolant for power stations or in fuel cells for cars: Hydrogen is a highly versatile gas. Today, most hydrogen for industrial applications is produced using fossil fuels, above all with natural gas and coal. In an environmentally friendly energy system, however, hydrogen could play a different role: as an important storage medium and a means of balancing power distribution networks: excess wind and solar energy can be used to produce hydrogen through water electrolysis. This process is known as power-to-gas. The hydrogen can recover the energy later, for example by generating power and heat in fuel cells, blending hydrogen into the natural gas pipeline network or converted into synthesis gas.

"Should I Sell the Energy or Convert It?"

However, power-to-gas technology has always been seen as non-competitive. Gunther Glenk of the Chair of Management Accounting at TUM and Prof. Stefan Reichelstein, a researcher at the University of Mannheim and Stanford University, have now completed an analysis demonstrating the feasibility of zero-emission and profitable hydrogen production. Their study, published in the renowned journal Nature Energy, shows that one factor is essential in the current market environments in Germany and Texas.

Read more at Technical University of Munich (TUM)