A small, decentralized power-to-gas system was started up in a residential development in Augsburg, Germany, at the beginning of this year. Exytron, the Rostock-based manufacturer of the installation, said it was the first of its kind around the globe to store surplus renewable electricity in synthetic natural gas and extract power when needed. With the help of the company’s SmartEnergyTechnology, “the system reduces emissions by 70 percent to 100 percent,” said the business’s sales director, Klaus Schirmer.
The power-to-gas plant supplies heat and electricity to 70 housing units and uses electric power from a rooftop PV system to make the development less reliant on the public grid. Any power surplus is fed to an electrolyzer, which produces hydrogen that is later turned into methane by adding carbon dioxide. This way, there is little to no impact on tenants’ energy bills despite the technology upgrade.