Storage instead of burning coal

An alternative energy paradox – on the one hand the development of environmentally-friendly renewable energy sources is being driven forward while, on the other hand, the production of electricity from coal, and thus also CO2 emissions, is rising.  The production of electricity from lignite, which is particularly damaging to the climate, is at its highest level since 1990 according to figures from the Working Group on Energy Balances. "Guaranteeing security of supply with coal puts us back decades in terms of energy policy," explains Ove Petersen, Managing Director and Founder of GP JOULE. "Technology has now moved on much further. We can absorb fluctuations in the grid, caused by the feed-in by volatile energies, like wind and solar, with modern storage technologies. It is imperative that we evolve these technologies instead of returning to the "dark age of coal".

GP JOULE is showcasing an innovative storage solution at the Biogas Conference in Nuremberg: the 'Energy Gap Filler" - a pilot project for a combined power-to-gas-to-power plant. The system temporarily stores hydrogen, generated from excess renewable energy. Depending on demand, the hydrogen is then supplied together with biogas from the biogas plant into a combined heat and power plant and fed into the power grid. The overall efficiency of the use of electricity and heat is up to 95%. The project is currently in its implementation phase and a trial run is planned for the end of the year.

GP JOULE is also presenting Cultiveco, an innovative photovoltaic greenhouse, of particular interest to owners of biogas plants. While agricultural products, like tomatoes, can be grown in the greenhouse, the PV plant on the roof of the greenhouse generates climate-friendly electricity. This power is used to operate the biogas plant, replacing expensive external power. The waste heat from the biogas plants can also be used to heat the greenhouse. This not only replaces fossil fuel-based heating, but also qualifies the operators of the biogas plants for the CHP-bonus, as they can demonstrate a sensible scheme for utilising their waste heat.

"We have the ideas, knowledge and expertise to move the alternative energy policy forward in a sensible and climate-friendly manner," comments Ove Petersen. "However, the industry needs the support of politicians. Electricity from energy storage facilities is bizarrely subject to dual taxes." Energy storage facilities have to pay end consumer duties and taxes for electricity that they buy from the public grid, even although they do not consume it, merely using it to cushion electricity peaks, and subsequently feed it back into the grid – where the electricity once again costs end consumers the EEG levy. "We expect the new federal government to come clean about the expansion of renewable energies and the promotion of innovative technologies."

Contact details for further enquiries:
Timo Bovi
Director Governmental Relations and Public Affairs
GP JOULE GmbH
Tel. +49-30-520 00 57-806
Fax +49-30-520 00 57-877
E-mail t.bovi(at)gp-joule.de

The Company: 
Win with energy – is the motto under which GP JOULE develops, plans and realises projects for the innovative use of renewable energies. The aim of the management team, centred on agricultural engineers and founders of GP JOULE Ove Petersen and Heinrich Gärtner, as well as Economist André Hirsch, is to link agriculture and business to develop productive potential investments for investors. Apart from the Solar Energy, Wind Power and Biomass divisions, the Future Strategies division brings together the knowledge and expertise of the energy experts in integrated solutions and applies itself to investigating new technologies. GP JOULE now has four sites in the north and south of Germany as well as two international sites in the USA and Canada. The head office is in Reußenköge in North Friesland.