One of the drawbacks of wind power is its intermittency, since wind depends on the weather factor, and in addition wind farms are often stopped during the night due to the lack of electrical needs during this period. But an alternative is to store that energy. In this regard there are several pilot studies to transform that electricity into hydrogen and then reprocess that hydrogen as an energy source. In Galicia they are working on one of these studies to turn the hydrogen into a “renewable” natural gas to some extent, since it would be injected into the traditional natural gas increasing its performance and thereby reducing consumption.
The General Director of Industry, Energy and Mines of the Xunta de Galicia, Angel Bernardo Tahoces, reported Tuesday that the regional government is working on a project to “create the renewable gas” that would be achieved by “injecting hydrogen into the natural gas marketing network. ”
Tahoces thus responded to a question from deputy Luis Toxo of PSdeG on the results of a pilot project to store wind energy into hydrogen. The general director explained that this project, based on obtaining hydrogen from wind power, by electrolysis “was a success” since storage was achieved through this element. However, the results of the second part of the investigation, aiming at reconverting the hydrogen into energy were “bad.” The tests were conducted with a combustion engine and the performance was “very low” he explained.
“But we have a project: to create the renewable gas”, Tahoces proclaimed, further indicating that the proposal is to combine this hydrogen with natural gas. Now, he said, to study the mixing process and “how this new fuel behaves” is a necessary step. In such way has he argued that this alternative would reduce external dependence since Galicia will need least amount of natural gas – mainly obtained from Algeria – and that his study is “affordable for the regional government.”
Thus, this project has been opposed to that proposed by Toxo, who stands up for the fuel cells research progress. In this sense, Tahoces admitted that hydrogen, which has been referred to as “the sirloin of fuel” for its various utilization options, can be stored in batteries, but it is “an expensive
technology.” For his part, Luis Toxo has stressed the need for innovation in this regard, or otherwise, has he warned, they will have to be bought to countries like Germany, which do currently work in developing this type of storage technologies.