In the beginning of July, the largest electrolysis system in the world was inaugurated in Mainz, Deutschland. The 6-megawatt plant will convert surplus electricity from wind farms to hydrogen, and it will therefore be possible to store electricity from renewable energy sources over longer periods of time.
The system is developed and delivered by Siemens, and has been built in continuation of a 17-million project supported by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology as a part of the Energy Storage Funding Initiatives.
Today, wind and solar power stations must be switched off if they produce too much energy for the grid, however the new facility in Mainz can use the “surplus” electricity to break water down into oxygen and hydrogen. Hence, the hydrogen can then be stored and used later when there is a demand for it. This will enable renewable energies to be harnessed more flexible and subsequently meet the fluctuating demands from energy-consumers.
The hydrogen produced can also be used for refueling the fuel-cell cars, and the facility in Mainz has the capacity to produce hydrogen for approximately 2,000 fuel-cell cars.
The city of Mainz has established a target to source the city with 30 percent of its power from renewable energy in 2020, and with this new plant, the city is a step closer in reaching its goal.
This news underlines that it is not just a question of building and operating more wind parks, but we also need to use the renewable energy most efficiently. Thus, the world needs more facilities like the one in Mainz if we are to harness the renewable energy most efficiently in the future.
Sources: www.siemens.com, press release from Siemens