As we have discussed in the first part of the biomethane series, there is a challenge of producing and storing renewable electricity.
Why can we not simply store renewable electricity for when we need it?
We could, of course, use batteries for storage but sustainability on a
Simply, storage solutions for overproduction are not present today outside of hydropower with artificial lakes.
On the other hand, the current gas infrastructure is so big that almost all Europeans are connected to it. Did you know that in Europe we have more than 200,000 km of high pressure pipelines for gas transmission and more than 2,200,000 km low pressure pipelines for gas distribution reaching our households?
Why does that matter and how is it related to the point about renewable electricity? The excess renewable electricity produced, for example from solar and wind energy, can be converted into synthetic gas and injected easily in the gas grid. This process is called Power-to-Gas. The electricity is used to convert water into hydrogen and oxygen. The hydrogen is further reacting with carbon dioxide to produce synthetic gas.
These different pathways of turning waste or excess renewable energy into biomethane offer the benefit that it can be injected anywhere where there is a gas pipeline and so be transported to NGV fueling stations to fuel our cars, buses and even trucks.
The vehicles running on natural or renewable gas don’t even notice the difference. This is because the quality of natural gas and renewable gas is carefully monitored and follows specific requirements before it can be used as a transport fuel.
Biomethane is a sustainable way to convert our waste into a fuel that can be used by very clean vehicles today.