At the Symposium for sustainable mobility in the environment Arena in Spreitenbach AG surprised Christian Bach, head of the Department of vehicle drive systems in the case of the Empa, with a provocative statement. “With the Power-to-Gas technology, in Switzerland, in the form of renewable methane for nearly a Million PW produce.”

Photovoltaics instead of nuclear power

Power to what? Bach explained: “Since nuclear power is likely to soon be through Photovoltaic replaced, the sustainable energy supply via Power-to-Gas interesting.” The term Power-to-Gas is a process for the conversion of electricity into hydrogen, and gaseous or liquid hydrocarbons, e.g., methane, or E-Diesel.

current surplus of 10.8 TWh

commissioned by the Federal office for the environment (FOEN) has investigated the Empa, together with the Paul Scherrer Institute in a study of the potential of Power-to-Gas in Switzerland. Result: Alone, the Expansion of Photovoltaics on only 50 percent of the for this technique suitable roof areas in Switzerland could be produced per year, around 24 terawatt-hours (TWh) of electricity; 15 TWh in the summer, 9 in Winter. For comparison: The end of the year by the network degree of mühleberg nuclear power plant provides approximately 3.0 TWh in the year. The memory seizure could be the end of Surpluses for the dark time-resolved part, the annual surplus Electricity of the net is 10.8 TWh would be. The Problem: The amount due on network charges for storage are currently in a economic use in the way.

fuel 640’000 gas-powered vehicles

and Yet: “This Surplus,” said Bach, “could, by means of electrolysis in 6.5 TWh of hydrogen to convert, and in a further step, approximately 5 TWh of methane or liquid hydrocarbon.” With these 5 TWh, the excess methane could be put back in the case of today’s engine technology 640’000 gas-powered vehicles in a realistic fuel consumption of 4.3 kg/100 km CNG annually and 14’000 km. Christian Bach believes that with the expected progress in the engine technology soon against a Million vehicles in Switzerland with renewable methane could drive.

From 2023, it would take 90’000 methane-cars

An interesting theory, especially with a view to the continually more stringent CO2 regulations in the case of PW. Next year, the tolerance value is only 95 g/km. And the provisions from 2023 to adhere to, so Bach would have to for Maximization of gasoline, Diesel and hybrid vehicles a year, either 55’000 E-vehicles, 90’000 Plug-in Hybrids or 90’000 with synthetic methane-powered vehicles in transport to be set. A Herculean task that can probably not work out in practice.


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