One of the biggest problems with wind and solar power is that they can only provide energy when the wind is blowing or the sun is shining. On the other hand, it the grid cannot accomodate any more energy at a particular moment, they have to be shut down. For years, scientists have been looking for ways of storing excess renewable energy, and one of the most promising is the ‘power-to-gas’ model.
Researchers in Stuttgart have now constructed a facility that uses the electrical current from renewable sources to make methane. The plant can be started up and stopped quickly - which is a prerequisite for reacting quickly to constantly changing energy supply and demand.