A pioneer in hydrogen and P2G solutions
It will be vital for us to transform our energy system in the years ahead. Not just because current energy sources - fossil fuels in particular - are slowly but surely running out, but also to prevent any further global warming. As a carbon-free energy carrier, hydrogen could have an important role to play in this respect: in industrial processes, as a fuel and as a storage medium for surplus energy.
Although hydrogen does not currently play a role of any significance in our energy supplies, it is an energy carrier that definitely needs to be taken into consideration – especially if investments in new generation and application technologies start to pay off. Various public authorities, including the Dutch government, are currently encouraging various innovations in this field. Central to the above are the sustainable production of hydrogen, transport and distribution and new applications for hydrogen.
The reduction of CO2 emissions generated by industry and road traffic
There are plenty of opportunities to use hydrogen to make our energy system more sustainable. If produced using sustainable energy sources, there are a number of different ways in which hydrogen could reduce the dependence of industry on natural gas and coal. Hydrogen could also make an important contribution to the replacement of fossil fuels and, as such, to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by road traffic. Although cars that feature a fuel cell ‘powered’ by hydrogen are already available, no major break-through has been achieved yet. The proverbial chicken-and-egg scenario would seem to be the case here: insufficient demand as the result of poor availability and poor availability as a result of insufficient demand.
We are already able to take advantage of the possibility to use hydrogen as a storage medium for surplus green power. In the event of good weather and strong winds, solar panels and wind turbines generate far more power than immediately necessary. This energy cannot be stored, because of which it is often lost. However, electrolysis can be used to convert surplus power and water into hydrogen gas. Power-to-gas (P2G) systems of this nature are characterised by their scalability and can be activated and deactivated quickly, depending on energy demand. Added to this, surplus energy can be stored - for months, if necessary - and then possibly also be distributed in the form of hydrogen.
Cooking with hydrogen
Together with network operators, public authorities and other stakeholders, Kiwa Technology is playing a pioneering role in relation to new applications for hydrogen in general and P2G solutions in particular. Drawing on our expertise in the field of gas and gas infrastructures, we also consider which role the existing gas pipeline network could play in the above. In the Sustainable Ameland project, we mixed natural gas with hydrogen and studied the effect the resulting product had on pipes and gas appliances. In the H21 project, in the British city of Leeds, we demonstrated the possibility of repurposing the existing gas infrastructure by making the pipeline network and the gas appliances connected up to it suitable for hydrogen. So, people will be able to cook and heat their homes, etc. with hydrogen.
A global expert in energy and water
Regardless of the energy system chosen for the future, the transition to sustainable, flexible energy systems and storage solutions requires a partner that has a second-to-none understanding of the entire energy-supply spectrum. As an international service provider in the energy and water supply chain, Kiwa Technology is this partner. Having focused on the gas sector initially, our expertise has developed beyond this field in recent decades and now covers the energy and water sectors too. We support our customers – which range from public authorities and industry to network operators and housing associations - with research, advice, engineering, training and product development and by building and implementing components, equipment and systems.