On Monday 11th June, 2018 in Cappelle-la-Grande (Nord department), France's first proof-of-concept Power-to-Gas plant was inaugurated in front of the Dunkirk urban community, the energy company ENGIE, and the mayors of Dunkirk and Cappelle-la-Grande.
The government sponsored Power-to-Gas project launched in 2014 and called GRHYD is being coordinated by energy company ENGIE in partnership with the AREVA H2Gen company, the French Atomic Energy Commission CEA, the CETIAT technical centre, the Dunkirk urban community, and also ENGIE Ineo, GNVERT, GRDF, INERIS, McPhy, and STDE. In a nutshell, the project sets out to test the injection of hydrogen into the region’s natural gas distribution mains in order to meet townspeople’s heating, hot water, and cooking needs. Another noteworthy aspect of this innovation is its inclusion in a much broader programme, namely, the government’s Hydrogen plan and the objective of reducing French greenhouse gas emissions by 20% in 2020.
At the plant’s inauguration, the first H2 molecules were sent through the Cappelle-la-Grande natural gas distribution main to supply 100 homes and a care centre in the village. The test is designed to prove the technical and economic relevance of this method.
Power-to-Gas converts the electricity generated from renewable energy sources into hydrogen gas. The advantage of this conversion is that it enables the energy to be stored and transported via natural gas infrastructures. According to ADEME, the French state energy and environment agency, hydrogen production from electricity using Power-to-Gas methods should reach around 30TWh per year by 2035.