Hannover. Germany’s energy system is being transformed from a conventional static and highly centralized system into a flexible decentralized system comprising innumerous generation sites. Thanks to digitalization, electricity generation is converging with heating/cooling, electric vehicles and industrial production to create a smart, integrated energy system. HANNOVER MESSE’s Energy show will tell the technological and economic backstory to Germany’s energy revolution by showcasing the systems, components and services that will form the backbone of the country’s fully integrated energy system in the future. Aptly themed "Integrated Energy," the show will cover the entire energy production and supply chain, from generation, transmission, distribution and storage right through to electric vehicle solutions.
"The centerpiece of this year’s Energy show is the Integrated Energy Plaza . The Plaza will feature an interactive model that explains the key building blocks of tomorrow’s energy systems. It will also show how the various enabling technologies are integrated and interact with one another to create a secure, reliable and cost-efficient energy supply," said Dr. Jochen Köckler, member of the Managing Board at Deutsche Messe.
The Energy show is not about science fiction. It’s about illustrating what’s already possible, because all the technologies needed to transform the world’s conventional energy systems already exist. At the Integrated Energy Plaza, companies such as wind turbine manufacturer Enercon, power cable manufacturer and energy distribution systems provider Prysmian and technology company Siemens will be showcasing their products and solutions for fully integrated energy systems. GP Joule , one of the Plaza’s premium sponsors, will be using a model to illustrate the key role that new, decentralized storage solutions will play in making such systems possible. Another high-profile supporter of the Integrated Energy Plaza is dena , Germany’s center of expertise for energy efficiency, renewable energy sources and intelligent energy systems. dena is organizing the Plaza’s interactive stage program. Other partners include the leading German industry associations VDE , VDMA Power Systems and ZVEI .
HANNOVER MESSE’s Energy show offers visitors new perspectives on an ecologically and economically sound energy future. It aims to gives them an integrated overview of the entire energy system by illustrating how the individual parts that make it up – from energy generation, transmission, distribution, right through to consumption – are interconnected. The show’s theme for 2016, "Integrated Energy," reflects the changes the world’s conventional energy systems are currently undergoing and the new markets that are being created along the way. According to RWTH Aachen University and Siemens Corporate Technology, Germany needs to continually adapt its national energy system objectives to reflect the growing renewable share of the country’s total energy supply. At today’s 20-plus percent, the focus should be on systems integration. Once the 40 percent mark has been passed, the experts recommend shifting the focus to market integration. As from the 60 percent milestone, the priority should be to achieve regional self-sufficiency until the 80 percent mark is reached, when generation and consumption should be decoupled by way of the holistic integration of decentralized energy conversion and storage systems.
Storage solutions as a means of achieving system integration
German company GP Joule is behind a model project dubbed "Hybrid power plant – Power-to-Gas-to-Power" in the German state of Schleswig-Holstein. The project illustrates how important and effective storage solutions already are as means of integrating fluctuating wind energy feed-ins into the energy system. Such solutions avoid the need to ramp up fossil-fuel generation plants during low-wind periods. In other words, they fill the gaps caused by flagging feed-ins with 100 percent renewable energy. GP Joule’s model of a power generation "gap filler" is an interim energy storage solution based on a high-performance combination of hydrogen electrolysis and biogas technology. The system involves converting surplus electricity into storable hydrogen using PEM electrolysis. When the power grid requires a top up, the stored hydrogen is converted back into electricity by a combined heat and power (CHP) biogas plant. In this way, "green" energy can be made available as and when needed, independently of weather conditions. GP Joule’s CHP system has an efficiency of up to 95 percent.
Electrification of the entire energy system
The December 2015 Climate Summit in Paris set some ambitious goals, such as reducing net carbon emissions to zero by 2050 and limiting global temperature increases to 1.5 to 2 degrees above pre-industrial levels. These goals are likely to speed up the expansion of renewable generation capacity and stimulate further investment in energy efficiency measures. The electrification of the entire energy system is also seen as a pivotal part of the effort to reduce CO2 emissions. In Germany, for instance, electricity still only accounts for 20 percent of the energy consumed by end users. It therefore follows that the role of all energy system stakeholders needs to change. Consumers must become prosumers who play an active role in the system, for instance as energy traders or peak load managers. Manufacturers are likewise called upon to become more proactive, for instance, by introducing smart energy monitoring systems that boost the energy efficiency of their plants.