The natural gas industry in and around Europe is going through a period of unprecedented change. Investment into R&D pilot and demonstration projects is essential as it creates the opportunity for new and improved technologies, which are vital in enabling the transition to decarbonization of the gas sector. ENTSOG Members (TSOs) are developing new and innovative technologies to offer sustainable solutions for the gas sector. These technologies focus on optimization of the grid usage, creation of digital layer connections and support decarbonization of the EU gas system. Please find specific examples in the list provided below.
Hydrothermal gasification is a technology converting wet biomass and treating organic wastes and residues. It uses the water contained into the biomass as the reaction environment in its supercritical phase to produce a synthesis gas. In Europe, several stakeholders are developing or currently operating pilot plants of this technology. The technology could reach industrial scale by 2023-25 with modular installations scaled between 0,5 and 6 t/h.
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The overall objective of the project is to increase knowledge about the accuracy and durability of commercially available gas meters after exposure to renewable gases (biogas, biomethane, hydrogen, syngas and mixtures with natural gas). This should lead to the improvement of existing meter designs and flow calibration standards. The project started in June of 2019 and will last for 3 years, and is funded by the European Metrology Programme for Innovation and Research (EMPIR).
In western France West Grid Synergy aims to design and experiment smart grid solutions to maximise biomethane injection into the transmission and distribution systems. This project essentially inaugurated the first reverse flow of locally produced biomethane from distribution to transmission in France.
Creos is making extensive investments in its natural gas networks. SMARTY is a new smart gas meter which measures the gas consumption in each home. Whether via customer's wired or wireless gas meter, the meter data is always transferred to your smart electricity meter and then, via the existing electricity network, to the central system managed by Luxmetering and finally to the gas supplier. This process is referred to as communication via power line carriers.
Hydrogen is produced by a 35 MW electrolyser, which is directly connected to a wind farm. The pure hydrogen is stored in a nearby salt cavern. The transport between the underground storage and the end users for the hydrogen inside an existing industrial area is provided by a converted natural gas pipeline.
Snam has launched its experiment of introducing a 5% hydrogen and natural gas blend into the Italian gas transmission network. The experiment, the first of its kind in Europe, is being conducted in Contursi Terme, and involves the supply of H2NG (a blend of hydrogen and gas) to two industrial companies in the area: a pasta factory and a mineral water bottling company.
The aim of the HESTOR research and development project carried out by a scientific and industrial consortium was to investigate the possibility of hydrogen storage in salt caverns, generated from RES, and its further use for energy generation and technological purposes in oil & refinery industry. The Project also considered technical and economic aspects of the use of hydrogen as a fuel in transport. Read more about the other issues addressed in the document using the link below.
Austrian Presidency of the EU Council started the “Linz Hydrogen Initiative” and invited to a high level conference on the eve of the Informal Meeting of the Energy Ministers on 17 September. The conference focused on the topics of renewable hydrogen, energy storage technologies and innovative energy technologies for energy intensive industries.
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RENOVAGAS is a research project whose first phase finished in 2017. It first aim was the development of a 15 kW demonstration plant for the production of synthetic natural gas (SNG) from the electrolytic production of hydrogen with renewable energy sources (RES) and its combination directly with a biogas stream, that is, without separating CO2 from the methane, through a methanation process, so the synthetic natural gas obtained was fully renewable.
ONTRAS in cooperation with the NEUMAN & ESSER Group, developed a mobile biogas compressor. This compressor not only avoids expensive downtime at injection plants, it also enables redirection of pipeline gas during maintenance work. This helps ONTRAS to minimize flare-off emissions. Also, in case of a failure or malfunction in a stationary system, it should be possible to connect and use the mobile solution in the short-term.