Green, yes, but how?
We are shaping the future!
This is all about climate protection.
'Green gases' roadmap
Beyond the VNG 2030+ strategy, we are following our roadmap for commitment to renewable and climate-neutral gases. Based on specific projects and research priorities, this paves the way for the green transformation at VNG in the coming years. Where there is natural gas still flowing today, renewable gases can provide the same services in the future. These include the CO2-neutral energy sources hydrogen and biomethane, which are in particular demand in emissions-intensive industry and in heavy goods transport.
These 'green gases' are not only a guarantee for security of energy supplies, they also have a high climate protection potential at the same time. However, while the majority of final energy consumption comes from fossil fuels, 'green gases' currently account for less than one per cent of total gas consumption. This ratio must be reversed within the next few years and decades in order to advance the long-term German and European climate protection targets.
Hydrogen has very good prerequisites to become the climate-neutral technology of the future in the energy market in the long term. There are various processes that can be used to produce hydrogen. Depending on the type of generation and production-related CO2 emissions, a distinction is made between green, blue, turquoise and grey hydrogen. Currently, the most cost-effective hydrogen production process is natural gas steam methane reforming (SMR), as the production for green hydrogen from renewable energies via water electrolysis is associated with very high costs.
The hydrogen colour spectrum
Hydrogen produced by electrolysis processes using renewable electricity in a CO2-neutral way. Alternatively, green hydrogen can also be produced from climate-friendly biogas or biomethane, for example through steam reforming.
Hydrogen produced from natural gas by steam reforming. The resulting CO2 is stored in suitable geological structures by means of carbon capture and storage (CCS).
Hydrogen obtained by splitting methane (pyrolysis). During production, instead of CO2, the end product is solid carbon, which can be stored and used in various industries.
Hydrogen obtained from fossil energy sources, the production of which produces CO2 emissions. One common process is steam reforming from natural gas.
Biogas is produced exclusively from residues and renewable raw materials. To this end, BALANCE Erneuerbare Energien GmbH, a wholly owned subsidiary of VNG AG, continues to work on optimising production processes. The biogas produced is upgraded to biomethane and fed into the existing natural gas network, thereby replacing natural gas as a fossil fuel. Biomethane has the same properties as natural gas and therefore serves as a climate-safe and sustainable alternative in cars and heavy goods transport, in electricity and heat production as well as in industrial and commercial enterprises.
Our role on the way to a green future
We want to actively shape the green transformation and accompany you as your strategic partner into the green future. To pave the way towards a decarbonised, climate-neutral energy industry, it is important for us as an organisation both to push ahead with the advancement of our established business areas relating to gas and to drive forward the transformation to new business segments. The implementation of the decarbonisation strategy brings with it a host of new projects, issues and challenges and requires cross-departmental thinking and proactive action to achieve our common goals. This lays the foundation for our future sustainable growth and for a climate-neutral future.
Bad Lauchstädt Energy Park
Small Scale Bio-LNG
The Bad Lauchstädt Energy Park (EBL) will be a future workshop for sector coupling, where the industrial use of green hydrogen is successful. The generation and distribution of green hydrogen is the responsibility of VNG Handel & Vertrieb GmbH and the participating project partners. To this end, renewable electricity is drawn from the nearby wind farm and green hydrogen is produced at the large-scale electrolysis plant. The hydrogen produced is environmentally friendly, easy to store, compensates for fluctuations in solar and wind power and can be used in a variety of ways. In addition to storage and transport, we develop, analyse and optimise the business to ensure the best possible use in local industry and mobility. The project is funded and supported by the BMWi (Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action) and stands apart as an example of a best practice project for green hydrogen. In September 2021, the collaborative project received the funding decision as a regulatory sandbox for the energy transition.
The power-to-gas project is supported by experts from the wind industry, gas infrastructure, mobility and chemistry. These include our project partners Terrawatt, Uniper, VNG Gasspeicher GmbH, ONTRAS and VNG AG.
The construction of a liquefaction plant by BALANCE EnviTec Bio-LNG GmbH in the Berlin area is intended to enable the production and sale of sustainable (bio-) liquefied natural gas (LNG). As VNG Handel & Vertrieb GmbH, we procure fuel capable biomethane and have it liquefied. In the mobility sector we will be able to supply our customers with bio-LNG in the future and therefore driving forward the decarbonised mobility transition. Only with CO2-neutral fuel can commercial and heavy goods transport make a significant contribution to achieving climate protection targets.
What is the GHG quota?
Since 2015, the greenhouse gas reduction quota (GHG quota) has been anchored in the Federal Immission Control Act as a kind of statutory climate protection instrument. The aim is to introduce more renewable energy sources into the transport sector and at the same time reduce greenhouse gas emissions that are harmful to the environment. The use of green gases is already stimulated in the transport sector by a price incentive. This mechanism is generated by the GHG quota.
As a founding member and member of the board of trustees, we support the non-profit and cross-sector H2Global Foundation and in doing so advance the promotion of hydrogen as the energy source of the future. The Foundation contributes to the achievement of the targets adopted in the National Hydrogen Strategy (NWS) in relation to the production and importation of green hydrogen. Through the efficient promotion of hydrogen production and international energy partnerships, a market ramp-up is to be achieved in the near future and thus the importation of green hydrogen to Germany is to be accelerated.
What's behind the foundation?
The H2Global Expert Commission works to ensure that a local hydrogen industry develops in partner countries at the same time as the hydrogen export industry is established, as a pillar of the local energy transition. The market-oriented promotional programme was initially designed by the Gesellschaft für internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and is now being further developed under the project sponsorship of the German Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association (DWV) within the framework of an expert commission.
The H2Global Expert Commission is made up of representatives from German industry, the financial sector, associations and public institutions who jointly pursue the goal of shaping the H2Global concept until it is ready for implementation. The development, especially in the fields of organisational structure, processes, services, countries, products and funding, takes place in close coordination with GIZ and the BMWi along with industry.