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Modeling a power-to-renewable methane system for an assessment of power grid balancing options in the Baltic States’ region


  • Zoss, Toms
  • Dace, Elina
  • Blumberga, Dagnija


The explicit tendency to increase the power generation from stochastic renewable resources forces to look for technological solutions of energy management and storage. In the recent years, the concept of power-to-gas, where the excess energy is converted into hydrogen and/or further methanized into renewable methane, is gaining high popularity among researchers. In this study, we assess the power-to-renewable methane system as the potential technology for power grid balancing. For the assessment, a mathematical model has been developed that assists in understanding of whether a power-to-renewable methane system can be developed in a region with specific installed and planned capacities of wind energy and biogas plants. Considering the varying amount of excess power available for H2 production and the varying biogas quality, the aim of the model is to simulate the system to determine, if wind power generation meets the needs of biogas plants for storing the excess energy in the form of methane via the methanation process. For the case study, the Baltic States (Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania) have been selected, as the region is characterized by high dependence on fossil energy sources and electricity import. The results show that with the wind power produced in the region it would be possible to increase the average CH4 content in the methanized biogas by up to 48.4%. Yet, even with a positive H2 net production rate, not in all cases the maximum possible quality of the renewable methane would be achieved, as at moments the necessary amount of H2 for methanation would not be readily available, and the reaction would not be possible. Thus, in the region, the wind power capacities would not meet the biogas plant capacities nor now, nor until 2020. For the system’s development, two potential pathways are seen as possible for balancing the regions’ power grid.

Suggested Citation

  • Zoss, Toms & Dace, Elina & Blumberga, Dagnija, 2016. "Modeling a power-to-renewable methane system for an assessment of power grid balancing options in the Baltic States’ region," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 170(C), pages 278-285.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:appene:v:170:y:2016:i:c:p:278-285
    DOI: 10.1016/j.apenergy.2016.02.137

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Wang, Ligang & Pérez-Fortes, Mar & Madi, Hossein & Diethelm, Stefan & herle, Jan Van & Maréchal, François, 2018. "Optimal design of solid-oxide electrolyzer based power-to-methane systems: A comprehensive comparison between steam electrolysis and co-electrolysis," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 211(C), pages 1060-1079.
    2. Blanco, Herib & Faaij, André, 2018. "A review at the role of storage in energy systems with a focus on Power to Gas and long-term storage," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 81(P1), pages 1049-1086.
    3. McKenna, R.C. & Bchini, Q. & Weinand, J.M. & Michaelis, J. & König, S. & Köppel, W. & Fichtner, W., 2018. "The future role of Power-to-Gas in the energy transition: Regional and local techno-economic analyses in Baden-Württemberg," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 212(C), pages 386-400.
    4. Ghaib, Karim & Ben-Fares, Fatima-Zahrae, 2018. "Power-to-Methane: A state-of-the-art review," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 81(P1), pages 433-446.
    5. Zhang, Xian & Chan, K.W. & Wang, Huaizhi & Hu, Jiefeng & Zhou, Bin & Zhang, Yan & Qiu, Jing, 2019. "Game-theoretic planning for integrated energy system with independent participants considering ancillary services of power-to-gas stations," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 176(C), pages 249-264.
    6. Blanco, Herib & Nijs, Wouter & Ruf, Johannes & Faaij, André, 2018. "Potential of Power-to-Methane in the EU energy transition to a low carbon system using cost optimization," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 232(C), pages 323-340.
    7. González-Aparicio, I. & Kapetaki, Z. & Tzimas, E., 2018. "Wind energy and carbon dioxide utilisation as an alternative business model for energy producers: A case study in Spain," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 222(C), pages 216-227.
    8. Van Dael, Miet & Kreps, Sabine & Virag, Ana & Kessels, Kris & Remans, Koen & Thomas, Denis & De Wilde, Fabian, 2018. "Techno-economic assessment of a microbial power-to-gas plant – Case study in Belgium," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 215(C), pages 416-425.
    9. Sedlar, D. Karasalihović & Vulin, D. & Krajačić, G. & Jukić, L., 2019. "Offshore gas production infrastructure reutilisation for blue energy production," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 159-174.
    10. Furuoka, Fumitaka, 2017. "Renewable electricity consumption and economic development: New findings from the Baltic countries," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 450-463.
    11. Zhang, Xiaojin & Bauer, Christian & Mutel, Christopher L. & Volkart, Kathrin, 2017. "Life Cycle Assessment of Power-to-Gas: Approaches, system variations and their environmental implications," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 190(C), pages 326-338.
    12. Collet, Pierre & Flottes, Eglantine & Favre, Alain & Raynal, Ludovic & Pierre, Hélène & Capela, Sandra & Peregrina, Carlos, 2017. "Techno-economic and Life Cycle Assessment of methane production via biogas upgrading and power to gas technology," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 192(C), pages 282-295.


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