Renewable gases or power-to-X are essential to meeting climate protection goals because they provide cost-effective solutions for reducing GHG emissions from vehicles, heat generation devices and power production systems, for storing energy long term or for using the final products as chemical raw materials.
German laws, however, have yet to include effective means to reduce those emissions to the required degree. This lack of measures and thus, pricing strategies, is still preventing the widespread use of low-emission technology.
As part of the 2015 Paris climate accords , 180 countries worldwide agreed to limit the human contribution to global warming to 1.5 °C or notably below 2 °C compared to pre-industrial levels. To reduce the expected high costs incurred by environmental damage and lessen the geopolitical impact of climate change, the agreement requires a profound and timely transformation of the global energy system. This provides a great challenge to Germany, as well as other industrial nations, which need to design a GHG-neutral economy by 2050.
Based on what we know to date, as well as according to an estimate by the Bundesrat, renewable gases will be essential to the transformation because they offer cost-effective solutions for lowering emissions, especially from goods and passenger transportation, industrial processes and electricity production and could be used for long-term storage and for supplying heat, in particular in residential developments and neighborhoods that are equipped with decentralized energy systems.
Project and methods
For the SMARAGD project, which was funded by the German Gas and Water Industries Association, DBI Gas- und Umwelttechnik partnered with Becker Büttner Held, the gas and water association’s research department at the Engler-Bunte Institut of the Karlsruher Institut für Technologie, the OTH Regensburg university‘s FENES, and the Gas- und Wärme-Institut Essen association to devise suggestions for rules that could help advance the cost-effective integration of renewable gases. The researchers involved in this project had a look at Germany’s energy legislation to determine possible barriers to the use of renewable gases before providing a total of 26 detailed recommendations. These were then analyzed for their impact from different perspectives:
read more in H2-international April 2019