Research & Innovation

Reinventing the energy system

Creating the low-carbon energy world of the future needs new ideas: Electrification is not the silver bullet. Innovative gas technologies, such as power-to-gas and fuel cells, provide solutions for the challenges of the energy transition.

Roadmap for the Energy Transition

2030: Achieve quick wins for decarbonisation with gas. 2050: Complete the energy transition.

Research & innovation: 02 - 1 - EN

Flexibility is Key

Gas is the ideal partner for balancing fluctuating renewable electricity production and demand.

Research & innovation: 03 - 1 - EN

  • Electricity production from wind and solar does not always match demand
  • There are times with surplus electricity and times with shortages
  • The power system needs more flexibility to deal with the fluctuations of renewable electricity production
  • Flexible gas-fired power generation is the ideal partner for fluctuating renewable electricity production
  • Innovative power-to-gas technology can make use of surplus power

Flexible Gas Power Plants

Gas provides the flexibility which is needed with an increasing share of variable renewables.

When there is too little wind and sun, modern gas-fired power generation supplies you with the electricity you need.

It’s not only important that the capacity is there, it also needs to be available quickly in case of unexpected weather or demand changes.

Gas-fired power plants have by far the best ramp rates of any power plants. This means they can react swiftly in periods of low renewable generation.

As we progress through the energy transition, gas-fired power plants with even higher thermal efficiencies can be developed. This would further optimise the backup that these plants provide to variable renewable energy sources.

Superior ramp rates

Research & innovation: 04 - 1 - EN

Power-to-Gas

Getting more out of renewables by making use of surplus power.

Research & innovation: 05 - 1 - EN

Power-to-gas is an innovative technology that converts surplus electricity into renewable gas. It is the ideal solution to store excess electricity using the existing gas infrastructure.

Renewable gas can be used in all sectors – heatingtransport and power generation – and it marks a step-change from low-carbon to carbon-neutral.

The technology is tried and tested and there are pilot plants all across Europe. With the right political framework, power-to-gas technology could go from bespoke to industrial and bring down the costs due to economies of scale, similar to wind and solar energy over the last decade.

Fuel Cells and Micro-CHPs

Producing secure and clean heat and electricity for your home – at home.

Research & innovation: 06 - EN

Fuel cells and micro-CHPs are highly efficient technologies that provide you with secure and clean energy. You can use them to produce your own heat and electricity at home, plus, you can provide surplus electricity to your local grid.

As fuel cells and micro-CHPs produce electricity locally and can be used with solar panels, they make themselves a core feature of the decentralised energy system the decentralised energy system. This creates smart community solutions, while limiting the need for new cross-country power lines.

Europe is just setting out on this journey, while other countries, such as Japan, are already full steam ahead with plans to roll out five million fuel cells by 2030.

Biogas

Creating a sustainable tomorrow with waste from today. There is no limit to blending gas with more and more biogas.

Tried and tested processes

Research & innovation: 07 - 1 - EN

Biogas from food waste…

Research & innovation: 07 - 2 - EN

The Concept of our Energy Future

Empowering customers to participate actively in a smart energy system.

Research & innovation: 08 - EN

Living our Energy Future

Ameland shows it really is possible! The Dutch island has put into action the smart combination of gas and renewables.

Research & innovation: 09 - EN

Carbon Capture and Storage

CCS will remain an important option to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, particularly in the medium and long term.

Research & innovation: 10 - EN

Using Gas Grids for Hydrogen

A green reinvention: The H21 Leeds City Gate project is attempting to fully convert the existing grid to hydrogen by removing CO2 from natural gas supplies.

Research & innovation: 11 - EN

Policy Recommendations

Research & Innovation

Build the future energy system with gas, wind and sun.

  • Support the development of gas and electricity through Horizon 2020 and the new SET-Plan. Both can become increasingly efficient, low-carbon, and renewable.

Drive innovation with gas through R&D budgets.

  • Spur a smart energy system. Make it flexible and robust through gas and electricity solutions.
  • Aim for even higher efficiency of gas-fired power plants.
  • Further develop hybrid solutions such as solar with gas.
  • Optimise CHP, micro-CHP, fuel cells and gas heat pumps.
  • Continue to pursue carbon capture and storage as well as use.

Give renewable gas equal treatment with renewable electricity.

  • Support anaerobic digestion and gasification for the use of waste, agricultural residues, manures and wood to produce biomethane and bio substitute natural gas.
  • Develop power-to-gas technology to use excess variable renewable electricity to produce synthetic gas, transported and stored in gas infrastructure.

Allow gas to use its strengths in the decarbonisation of all transport sectors.

  • Improve gas engine technology further for all modes of transport.