In the new MethQuest project, which is being funded by the German Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi), technologies are to be developed that will support Germany’s energy transition using methane-based fuels from renewables. The focus will also be on sector coupling, i.e. connecting up the energy and transport sectors.
A total of 27 scientific, industrial and business partners are to collaborate on research and development work over a period of three years in six joint projects. The go-ahead was given by the Federal Government’s coordinator for the maritime industry, Norbert Brackmann, at the kick-off meeting held on 14 September in Friedrichshafen. Responsibility for the joint project coordination has been assigned to Rolls-Royce Power Systems and the DVGW Research Centre at Engler-Bunte-Institute (EBI) of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT).
In the MethQuest project, technologies are to be developed and analysed that will enable methane-based fuels from renewables to be used in mobile and stationary applications and subsequently launched on the market. While the use of gas is widespread, particularly for heating purposes, its potential for passenger, freight and maritime transport has hardly been developed to date. Its use in cogeneration plants to provide a flexible means of generating heat and power has also been stagnating for many years, in spite of the fact that cogeneration plants are seen as a key element of the energy transition.
Taking the Port of Karlsruhe as a case study, the interfaces and synergies of sector coupling will be examined and simulated. Specifically, the purpose of the study is to determine how electricity, gas and heat can be produced locally as required and supplied to the end users. These will include the local port infrastructure, in addition to the city’s bus fleet and barges. Storage possibilities will also be considered that would enable the local grid to be operated independently.
As Norbert Brackmann explained: “For a successful energy transition, it is absolutely essential that the energy and transport sectors are coupled and looked at as a whole. At the same time, methane-based fuels produced using electric power that is generated from renewable energy sources (”power-to-gas“) will be an important factor. They will enable greenhouse gas emissions to be significantly reduced, which will help is to achieve our climate protection goals. The further development of technologies that will make possible the energy-efficient use of these fuels is an integral part of the MethQuest lead project.”
The project has a total value of 32 million euros, with financing provided by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) amounting to a total of 19 million euros. Andreas Schell, CEO of Rolls-Royce Power Systems, and Dr. Frank Graf, Director, Gas Technology at the DVGW Research Centre at Engler-Bunte-Institute of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), accepted the official grant approval on behalf of the 27 project partners.
Source: Rolls Royce Power Systems