Spanish Duo Form Hydrogen Initiative
Spain’s two largest gas grid operators agreed March 8 to form a joint ‘H2Gas’ initiative to jointly develop production and network infrastructure for hydrogen generated from renewable sources.
National gas transmission grid Enagas and Goldman Sachs-controlled distributor Redexis Gas said their project envisages use of power-to-gas (PTG) technology, allowing hydrogen to be produced from water and electricity, to be injected into the gas network, either directly or converted into syngas or biomethane.
Enagas said it has already taken the lead in Renovagas, a pioneering R&D project in Europe that involves the design, construction and trial operation of a 15 kilowatt-hour pilot plant for the production of syngas from biogas and hydrogen.
A number of European companies are investing in PTG units, including Dutch state firm Gasunie and Germany's Uniper. A study last October in Germany forecast a significant role for PTG technology in providing transport fuels in Germany. But the technology is not yet commercially realisable.
In Uniper annual results March 8, its CEO Klaus Schafer called for German regulatory support for PTG. "Policymakers need to act so that PTG finally has a chance to become a problem-solver. We’ve had the technological capability for quite a while. Now the regulatory environment needs to be adjusted to make it possible for PTG plants to operate economically. Finally ending the classification of PTG plants as final consumers would be a good start. In fact, simply removing the renewables levy, which PTG plants currently pay for the renewable power they convert, would help take them closer to being economic."
Left to right: Enagas CEO Marcelino Oreja and Redexis Gas chairman Fernando Bergasa (Photo credit: Enagas)