Gas grid could store excess electricity

Posted on 24 May 2018 and read 541 times
Gas grid could store excess electricity The Government and industry should boost investment in technology to promote the use of hydrogen as a way of storing energy, thereby making the UK energy system ‘greener’ and more efficient, according to a new report by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) (www.imeche.org).

It says the technology would allow the gas grid to be used to store excess electricity (in the form of hydrogen) and to support an expansion of renewable power in the UK, because one of the barriers to increasing renewable capacity in the UK is the inability to store excess electricity — if, for example, it is very windy but demand levels are low.

The recommendation is made in the report Energy from Gas: Taking a Whole System Approach, which outlines key ways that gas could be used to make the UK energy system ‘greener’, cheaper and more efficient.

Jenifer Baxter, head of engineering at the IMechE and lead author of the report, said: “Government and industry need to step up efforts to provide funding programmes and demonstration sites to encourage the greater use of hydrogen as energy storage.

"The UK has a strong track record of being at the cutting edge of new energy developments, and this could present the country with a chance to be a world leader in power-to-gas and hydrogen technology.”

Dr Baxter says the UK gas grid has the potential to store excess electricity (in the form of hydrogen) for a greater amount of time than some other forms of energy storage, such as batteries.

“This hydrogen can then be used in all areas of the energy system, producing low-emission fuel for transport, reducing the CO2 emissions from heating systems, re-used to generate electricity as well as a ‘greener’ feedstock for industries such as ammonia and plastics production.”

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