German-Austrian researchers and entrepreneurs plan to store surplus electricity – such as from wind power or solar energy – as climate-neutral methane, and store it in existing gas storage facilities and the natural gas network.
For the first time, the process of natural gas production combines the technology for hydrogen-electrolysis with methanisation. “Our demonstration system in Stuttgart splits water using surplus renewable energy using electrolysis. The result is hydrogen and oxygen,” explains Dr. Michael Specht of ZSW. “A chemical reaction of hydrogen with carbon dioxide generates methane – and that is nothing other than natural gas, produced synthetically.”