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Swisspower Working with Siemens on Developing Power-to-X Hydrogen Systems in Switzerland

By November 7, 2019

November 7, 2019

Swisspower, the alliance of Swiss municipal utilities, is working with technology supplier Siemens to develop Power-to-X systems in Switzerland. The goal is to initiate a production capacity of at least 20 megawatts (MW) at several locations in the coming years.

“Power-to-X is an important component of a renewable energy system without CO 2 emissions,” says Ronny Kaufmann, CEO of Swisspower. In order to push ahead with the construction of Power-to-X systems in Switzerland, Swisspower is now collaborating with Siemens, a leading supplier of electrolysers. The electrolysis produces hydrogen from excess renewable electricity. This is either used directly, for example as fuel in traffic, or it is converted by the addition of CO 2 to synthetic methane. As a climate-neutral gas, it can be used over the existing gas network for heating buildings, in mobility or in industry.

Suitable locations for wastewater treatment plants, hydroelectric power plants, and biogas plants

Swisspower has identified around 100 major wastewater treatment plants (ARA) connected to the gas grid as possible locations for Power-to-X plants. At the ARA Dietikon, Swisspower shareholder Limeco will build and operate the first industrial power-to-gas plant in Switzerland in cooperation with various energy suppliers. “Our goal is to initiate several more such plants with a total capacity of at least 20 MW in the coming years,” says Ronny Kaufmann. In addition to ARA, hydropower plants or biogas plants can also be considered locations for Power-to-X plants. Supported by Siemens and its technological know-how, Swisspower intends to identify suitable locations and develop appropriate projects together with interested sponsors.

If the legal framework conditions for Power-to-X systems are improved, inter alia by the adoption of grid fees for electricity purchases, Swisspower assumes that a significantly higher volume of around 50 MW can be achieved.

New Key Account Manager at Swisspower

As Key Account Manager for Power-to-X, Manfred Dirren joins the Swisspower team. With him, Swisspower has gained an experienced business developer and expert on the energy industry for the project to help Power-to-X achieve a breakthrough in Switzerland.

Increasing demand for Power-to-X

Power-to-X refers to a variety of technologies that convert excess electrical energy into chemical energy sources such as hydrogen or methane for long-term storage. With the phase-out of nuclear energy and the expansion of renewable energies, in particular, photovoltaics, the demand for power-to-X solutions as a storage option for renewable electricity will rise sharply in Switzerland. Power-to-X makes a decisive contribution to the convergence of the energy networks of electricity, gas, and heat and to the decarbonisation of the energy system.

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