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35 power-to-gas plants are currently operating in Germany, mainly for demonstration purposes. A project funded by the German Gas and Water Association (DVGW) has now analyzed how their actual use in 2030 could affect distribution grids. The analysis was based on the existing electricity and gas grid structures of more than 11,000 municipalities.

The results show that there is technical potential throughout Germany for feeding renewable gases from PtG processes into the distribution grid. The study comes to the conclusion that methanization plants could achieve a total capacity of around 40 GW by 2030 and save the distribution networks 640 million euros in expansion costs on the electricity side. Feeding in methane could generate almost 1,280 million euros annually. Direct feed-in of hydrogen would generate annual revenues of 116 million euro while reducing grid expansion costs by more than 430 million euros. According to the study, revenues would be higher if the regulatory framework conditions were improved and the savings generated by avoiding shutdowns and re-dispatch measures were included.

The Bergische Universität Wuppertal, RWTH Aachen University, the Gas Technology Institute of the DBI Group and the Gas and Heat Institute in Essen GWI were involved in the study.