Feasibility Study Power-to-H 2 / Hydrocarbons (PtH 2 / HC)

"Power-to-Gas" or "Power-to-Hydrogen / Hydrocarbons" (PtH2 / HC) is a process for the conversion of surplus renewable electricity (eg wind and PV systems) into storable chemical energy sources ( eg hydrogen, methane, liquid hydrocarbons, etc.).

GIS analysis of CO2 sources and natural gas network in Switzerland for potential sites of PtH2 / HC plants (map basis: swisstopo, reproduced with permission JA160150)

In a feasibility study commissioned by the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN), the technical, geographic and economic potential of PtH2 / HC in Switzerland was examined.

Process chains and cross-relationships within Power-to-H2 / Hydrocarbons (PtH2 / HC)

Using high-temporal and spatial data, it was analyzed how PtH2 / HC can contribute to the reduction of fossil CO2 emissions in mobility and how it can be integrated into the energy system. The target was the Federal Energy Strategy 2050, which was essentially based on phasing out nuclear power and expanding PV systems. As a result, large amounts of PV surplus electricity are generated in summer, while in winter there is a shortage of domestic electricity with low CO2 footprint. The high flexibility and seasonal storability of PtH2 / HC products make them a promising option to carry out the expansion of PV in Switzerland as planned while reducing CO2 emissions in other sectors (such as mobility). As a prerequisite for this, various boundary conditions have to be met: Geographic boundary conditions and dependencies of potential PtH2 / HC locations such as the spatial distance between (hydro) power plants, CO2 sources (cement plants, KVA, ARA) and natural gas grid entry points could be determined by GIS analyzes and customers (service stations) are quantified; A business case was used to show how the competitiveness of PtH2 / HC products depends in particular on low electricity prices and network fee exemption (in the case of network and system conducive operation).

The road network of Switzerland (highways / highways) with petrol stations, which represent an energy network (Data foundations: TomTom, 2017; Maps: swisstopo, reproduced with permission JA160150)
  • Client: Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN)
  • Project period: 2016 - 2018
  • Type: Technical feasibility study
  • Collaboration: Empa, PSI
  • Project management: Empa
  • Product (s): Technical Report (Report)
  • Status: In Process