Electricity utility RWE has opened a power-to-gas plant in Ibbenbüren of Germany, which connects together the supply of local electricity, natural gas and district heating.


The facility features a rapid response power-to-gas PEM electrolyser system delivered by the UK firm ITM Power, which converts excess power from renewable sources such as solar panels or wind turbines into hydrogen.

The hydrogen is then mixed into the natural gas network through a gas pressure regulation station where the waste heat of the electrolyser is utilised.

When there is low renewable power production, the previously stored natural gas will be drawn from the storage facility and used in co-generation plant within the firm’s district heating network in Ibbenbüren to produce power.

The facility is said to have a rated power output of 150kW h and creates hydrogen under 14-bar pressure.

RWE Deutschland CEO Dr Arndt Neuhaus said: "Energy storage solutions will become an essential element of our future electricity system, where, according to German Government plans, in fifteen years’ time, renewable energy sources will cover 50 percent of the country’s power needs – or almost double the current rate."

Image: RWE has officially launched the power-to-gas plant in Ibbenbüren. Photo: courtesy of RWE.