Energy storage through methane. Preliminary analysis of scenarios with high share of renewable energy in the Spanish electricity market

      This study presents estimations of excess of electricity that might be stored under future Spanish energy scenarios. First, the evolution of the Spanish electricity system in the period 2020 – 2050 is estimated, in terms of power capacity, energy production and demand. Then, this model is used to analyze the amount of renewable electricity that could exceed the demand under different renewable generation patterns, and to estimate the Power to Gas power capacity required to store it.

      The prediction of energy demand evolution is based on the results provided by The Global Calculator, a useful tool developed by the International Energy Agency. This tool models the world’s energy, land and food systems to explore future scenarios. Then, the energy production is calculated as the product of the estimated installed power capacity and the operating hours, which are heuristically inferred from different analysis. Since demand and production are established separately, additional restrictions were imposed to validate the feasibility of these scenarios.

  • A moderate increment on electricity demand (1.36%/year, Scenario 1) agrees with prospective reports of Spanish institutions, while higher annual growth (1.73%/year, Scenario 2) requires exceeding the expected deployment of power capacity.

  • In 2050, renewable sources would provide above 63% of electricity production while fossil fuels would fall below 11%.

  • The surplus electricity in 2050 may be about 1.4 – 5.2 TWh for Scenario 1, and 6.1 – 13.5 TWh for Scenario 2, what clearly shows how imperative the energy storage will be in the coming decades.

  • The Power-to-Gas capacity required to store this surplus electricity would be in the range 7.0 – 19.5 GW.
Completed 100%

Project info

1 September 2014 – 31 August 2015

Total budget: 36,000 €

Principal investigator
Pilar Lisbona (pilarlm@unizar.es)
ARAID Foundation

This project received funding from Iberdrola Foundation, through the funding programme “IBERDROLA Research Grants for Energy and Environment 2014-2015”.