Deutsche Version  ACT
Physical Storage
Supply networks 4.10.2016

Convergence of electricity and gas
© iStock, Shutterstock

Coupling renewables with electricity and gas grids

In the KonStGas project scientists examined the potentials to integrate

renewable energy sources, resulting from the coupling of energy

networks. For this purpose, they model the energy flows of the total

energy supply structure and evaluate the results from an economic

perspective. They derive recommendations for the adjustment of energy

infrastructure and future energy market.

Project status Project completed
Project duration August 2013 until September 2016

The energy supply rapidly changes from a consumer-oriented to a supply-driven structure. Thus the focus lies on buildup of storage technologies and storage capacities. Alongside the approaches of the electricity sector as battery storage and network expansion, the coupling with the gas infrastructure may offer great opportunities for an optimized overall energy system. The chances of the cooperation of the grids are mainly based on the power-to-gas technology as well as in the storage function and the high transport capacity of the gas infrastructure. This project examines which potentials for integrating renewable energies arise as a result of coupling both energy grids. The energy flows of the whole energy supply structure are modelled, economically considered and recommendations for action for an adaption of the energy infrastructures for a future energy market will be concluded.

  • Power to gas as interface between electricity and gas grid © DBI Gas- und Umwelttechnik GmbH
  • Convergence of electricity and gas © iStock, Shutterstock

The reason of the project are the rising surpluses of renweable energy that in particular in the northern German regions lead to a significant surplus between generation of renewable energy and regional consumption. The restrained expansion of the electricity grid lets one expect that increasingly instabilities in the network will occur and result in shutdown of renwable energy producers. The objectives are therefore a mutual dynamic simulation of electricity and gas grids to identify synergies in energy storage. The positioning and dimensioning of coupling points in the network over power-to-gas systems as well as gas power plants. The technical simualtions are combined with analyses of the energy market to classify the economic business models and their influence on the economy for the timeframe up to the year 2050. The coordination of the joint project is done by DBI-Gastechnologisches Institut gGmbH Freiberg. Furthermore 12 additional research institutions are involved. The project is accompanied by an industry consortium from electricity and gas grid operators. The duration of the project is 38 months, the project ends in September 2016.

Attention is on energy infrastructures and markets

The feature of the project is that the whole energy system, the energy infrastructures on the gas and electricity side as well as the energy markets concerning the scenarios, input data and assumptions, are modelled coordinated with one another and therefore an optimized result for the whole system is expected. For this purpose the development of the energy system is modelled once with and once without coupling, to be able to evaluate the influence of the coupling and especially the power to gas technology on the integration of the renewable energy sources.

The project results show the potentials of the coupling of electricity and gas grids for the transport and storage of renewable energy. Existing assets are considered and necessary expansion scenarios are analyzed and with this the future costs for seasonal energy storage is specified. Recommendations for action are formulated for policy-makers and economic decision-makers. Covered by the study character of the project are economically viable and useful business models. It indicates possibilities for a long-term change of the energy system.


Milestone 1: Future scenarios and their general conditions are developed.
--> The milestone was finalized in a workshop on 30th January 2014.

Milestone 2: One year later, the base data are compiled and the model technologies are finalized. Developing the part models starts.
--> The milestone was finalized.

Milestone 3-5: 18 months thereafter, the part models for electricity and gas grids as well as for the energy supply model are developed and verified.
--> The milestones were finalized.

Milestone 6: After 2 years, the scenarios are revised and the first results from the models are available.
--> The milestone is currently in the final stage.

Milestone 7: 2,5 years later, the model results, recommendations for action and roadmap exist and will be dicussed in a public final workshop.
--> The final workshop will take place on 22 September 2016 in Berlin.


In sub-project A - electricity grids, models of electricity grids are developed to illustrate dynamic relations from fluctuating production, capacities and reactions from conventional power plants as well as demand and the coupling points between electricity and gas grids. The target is the grid node oriented solution of production and demand with a focus on Germany but also the consideration of the European electricity market.

In sub-project B - gas grids, models on the gas transport and distribution level are further developed to calculate the capacities of integrating renewable energy as well as the structure of the future requirements and long-term network development at increasing convergence. Transport grids with connections to other European countries and exemplary regional gas transport and distribution grids are considered.

In sub-project C - energy supply system, an uniform scenario frame is defined and specified for the sub models. The results from the sub-projects A and B are brought together and scenarios for the whole energy system are calculated. The main focus when developing models lies in the integration of power-to-gas plants. An essential result is the determination of CO2- saving potentials and monetary expenditures for the energy system.

In sub-project D - evaluation of the model results and recommendation for action, the results from the first three sub-projects are analyzed and evaluated. For this purpose positive approaches and restrains from the regulatory frame and the market structures are worked out and recommendations for actions are derived.

Supported by: The Federal Government on the basis of a decision by the German Bundestag


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Research funding

The information system EnArgus provides information on research funding, including on this project (German only).