On 7 March, GP JOULE hosted a live, on-site presentation of innovations from Schleswig-Holstein for Prof. Klaus-Dieter Borchardt, Director of the Internal Energy Market with the Directorate-General Energy of the EU Commission, and Robert Habeck, Schleswig-Holstein Minister of Energy, Agriculture, the Environment and Rural Areas. On their visit to the company in Reußenköge (North Frisia), the two visitors were able to gain a first-hand impression of the “power gap filler” in action - an intelligent storage system that enables renewable power to be stored using power-to-gas technology, thereby making it available for the heat and transportation sector. With this innovative concept, GP JOULE has positioned itself as a pioneer in interlinking the power, heat and mobility market and is actively working to make the power turnaround a genuine energy turnaround.
The resolutions passed at the international climate conference COP21 made one thing very clear: coal, oil and natural gas will not and cannot have any role to play in energy production from 2050 onwards. In Germany, about one third of CO2 emissions are produced by the heat market and about 16 per cent by the mobility market. In view of the climate protection targets established in Paris, therefore, the efficient cross-linking of the power, heat and mobility sector is becoming increasingly important. In order to achieve its climate targets, Germany has to intensify the consistent development of renewable energies and use renewable power to decarbonize all sectors. With its capacity for decentralized application, power-to-gas technology is a key factor in meeting these targets both efficiently and affordably.
At their visit to Reußenköge, Borchardt and Habeck found out about the implementation of GP JOULE's innovative “power gap filler” concept. The latter is the company’s intelligent, low-cost and climate-friendly solution for converting renewable power into hydrogen by means of PEM electrolysis and storing it. “Our power gap filler provides an important regional service for the power grid system, enabling us to produce hydrogen for the grid by means of electrolysis during periods of high wind”, explains Ove Petersen, founder and managing director of GP JOULE. If necessary, the hydrogen can then be converted back into electric current with biogas in a combined heat and power plant (CHP) and fed back into the power grid. Surplus power from solar and wind parks in the surrounding area is converted into hydrogen at a 75% efficiency rate by means of electrolysis, the hydrogen then being stored in tanks to make it available for use at any time. As such the hydrogen can also be used in the mobility sector to power fuel cell vehicles. “Transportation and the heat market have been neglected by the energy turnaround up to now. With the power gap filler, our aim is to push for a genuine energy turnaround that incorporates these sectors to gradually make them free of CO2”, says Petersen. The heat produced during electrolysis, which accounts for 25 per cent of the energy deployed, is used in the heat concept of the biogas plant. If a large amount of power is needed, hydrogen can be added to the biogas in the CHP, thereby increasing the flexibility of the biogas plant so as to be able to respond to fluctuations in demand. “The next phase of the energy turnaround has begun: fluctuations in the generation of wind and solar power are no longer an insurmountable problem. Instead, electricity producers and traders are working with industry to come up with solutions for aligning production with consumption. This is crucial in terms of the future of the energy turnaround”, says Minister Habeck.
As the production of renewable energy expands, the cross-linking of the different sectors is becoming increasingly important. As of the end of 2015, the total output of renewable energy plants on the power grid in northern Germany was over 7,000 megawatts. An increasing amount of power from these plants cannot be integrated in the power grid due to congestion, so it has to be cut off. This involves enormous costs, which are passed onto consumers in the form of grid charges. In 2015, the total cost of these interventions on the part of grid operators was already at approximately one billion euros – and the trend is rising sharply. So it is high time for the renewable energy that cannot be integrated in the grid to be harnessed as heat or green fuel directly in Schleswig-Holstein. Petersen believes it is very important to push ahead with this cross-linking of the different sectors: “Sector cross-linking can facilitate solutions that show how cheap renewable power can be harnessed effectively and efficiently on a regional basis, thereby tapping into fresh value creation potential. In this way, Schleswig-Holstein could become a role model and a pioneer in pursuing a genuine energy turnaround – and also be an economic success story for everyone.”
Director Governmental Relations and Public Affairs
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The GP JOULE Company:
GP JOULE is a universal, innovative and authentic partner for all areas of renewable energies. Under the motto "TRUST YOUR ENERGY", the company has developed, planned and realised projects for the future-oriented use of sun, wind, biomass and energy storage since 2009. Based on a sense of respect and responsibility for mankind and the environment, GP Joule develops intelligent energy concepts and integrated solutions, thereby ensuring that the power turnaround becomes a genuine energy turnaround. The guiding principles of company founders and agricultural engineers Ove Petersen and Heinrich Gärtner include authenticity, trust, fair play, innovation and quality as well as the aim to contribute to 100% of energy consumption being drawn from renewable sources in the future. GP JOULE is thus able to offer investors a highly promising and profitable investment option. GP JOULE operates four sites in northern and southern Germany as well as two international sites in the USA and Canada.