Using Biogas as a Source of Green Energy.
Biomethane – biogas processed to the same quality as natural gas – has certain benefits which no other renewable energy carriers can provide. It can be stored and transported easily and it is produced in stable and controllable amounts with a reliable gas quality. Biomethane offers the only renewable energy source with 24/7 flexibility. With focused political support, biomethane can make a valuable and sustainable contribution to energy supply.
There are currently 22 biogas plants connected to the ONTRAS transmission network and these inject 180 million cubic meters of biomethane every year – approximately 17% of the total German biomethane in the gas network. ONTRAS transports more biomethane than any other transmission systems operator in Germany. Indeed, two pipelines within the ONTRAS network transport solely biomethane.
In order to ensure the high availability of biogas injection plants, as is required by law, ONTRAS, in cooperation with the NEUMAN & ESSER Group, developed a mobile compressor. This compressor not only avoids expensive downtime at injection plants, it also enables redirection of pipeline gas during maintenance work. This helps ONTRAS to minimize flare-off emissions.
At times when distribution networks are oversupplied with biomethane, six reverse flow plants increase the pressure of the excess biomethane and convey it upstream into the ONTRAS network. This makes the biomethane available for more customers.
Expanding the Use of CNG in the Mobility Sector.
The use of biogas and natural gas in the mobility sector can reduce CO2 emissions immediately and offers fleet operators the opportunity to develop sustainable mobility concepts. With a fleet comprised almost completely of CNG (highly-compressed natural gas and biomethane) company cars, ONTRAS is already contributing to a sustainable future in mobility. What is more, ONTRAS is also involved in a wide range of projects to develop and expand CNG-fueling station infrastructure. ONTRAS supports the goals set out in the Natural Gas Mobility Initiative by the German Energy Agency (dena) in 2015.
ONTRAS actively develops strategic partnerships with several market participants with the goal of expanding the current CNG-fueling station infrastructure. Increasing the amount of biomethane in CNG offers massive potential for CO2 reductions. Therefore, ONTRAS aims to ensure that the highest-possible share of biomethane will be offered at its fueling stations.
The Volkswagen Group encourages the expansion of natural gas mobility – ONTRAS is one of its CNG industrial partners. Find out more at www.discover-cng.com (under maintenance).
Realising the Energy Transition with Power-to-Gas.
Two power-to-gas facilities are currently connected to the ONTRAS network. At these plants electricity generated by wind turbines is converted into hydrogen and injected into the natural gas network. A third plant of this kind is currently being planned. Our goal is to support the development of this technology from its current pilot-status to full market maturity. ONTRAS played an active role as an associate partner in the development of the German Power-to-Gas Atlas project coordinated by dena.
We work together with industrial partners to examine the possible application of hydrogen and explore the massive potential of our own infrastructure for the transport of renewably-generated hydrogen. At the same time we also cooperate with various organizations and initiatives in order to, among other things, improve the legal and regulatory framework for power-to-gas.
To this end ONTRAS is a member of the Green Gas Initiative, an association of seven European infrastructure operators with the common goal of achieving CO2-neutral energy supply by 2050. As part of the research group HYPOS, ONTRAS works together with a wide selection of partners to examine the compatibility of the existing gas infrastructure for the transport of pure hydrogen as well as hydrogen-natural gas blends.
Encouraging energy efficiency. Protecting the environment
In the energy economics of the twenty-first century, the issue of energy efficiency is, of course, highly important for ONTRAS. We have made it our goal to systematically realise new measures both in our technical and administrative divisions. ONTRAS has introduced a new energy management concept based on the German standard DIN ISO 50001 which will optimize energy efficiency, energy use, and energy consumption. For example, since the beginning of 2017 all of our facilities use only green electricity. In 2015 the use of CNG-vehicles instead of diesel in our company car pool saved 260 tons of CO2 emissions. In addition, ONTRAS is actively working on innovative solutions to optimize its own pipeline network and installations with a focus on environmentally-friendly operations.