E.on to launch wind/hydrogen storage trial

GERMANY: E.on is launching a €5 million project to store wind energy via the country’s gas pipeline system.

Under the scheme, a wind project will power the production of around 360m3 of hydrogen per hour through electrolysis. The hydrogen will be fed into the natural gas pipeline and used conventionally.

The trial is set to become operational by 2013. It will use the Ontras pipeline system.

According to E.on, up to 5% hydrogen can be added into the natural gas grid. It said the figure could rise to 15%.

Professor Klaus-Dieter Maubach, member of the E.on board of management responsible for Technology & Development, said: "We need new storage capacities so that we can further increase the share of weather-dependent wind power in our generation portfolio in coming years.

"Using the existing gas infrastructure to store hydrogen is a promising approach in the long run, enabling us to combine our strengths as a power and gas company."