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The distribution system operator Netze BW , a subsidiary of EnBW, wants to establish a hydrogen island in the small town of Öhringen in 2020. The town, which is home to 11,000 residents, will also be decoupled from the surrounding infrastructure and supplied with natural gas as an autonomous island network. Netze BW then wants to gradually mix in an ever increasing proportion of hydrogen, up to a level of 30 percent.

This is how the company is testing a possible solution for the problem of storing and using excess renewable energy. The hydrogen for the Öhringen network will be generated via electrolysis using energy from renewable sources such as wind turbines. The consumers can then use the hydrogen-natural gas mix in exactly the same way as the pure natural gas that was sourced previously.