German environmental groups: PtX-tech not ‘necessarily’ climate-friendly

(EurActiv, 30 Jul 2019) So-called Power-to-X (PtX) technologies are seen as a good way of reducing greenhouse gas emissions because their potential for storing energy could stabilise the electricity grid, which is needed to further develop renewable energies. However, German environmental groups BUND and the Öko-Institut have criticised the technology. EURACTIV Germany reports.

Artificially produced gases, liquids and chemicals that store energy – so-called Power-to-X technologies (PtX) – are often referred to as the key to the energy transition.

However, a position paper published on Monday (29 June) by the German environmental NGO BUND and the research institute Öko-Institut noted that PtX technologies are not ‘necessarily’ more environmentally-friendly than coal mining.

If the electricity required to power the energy-intensive PtX process does not entirely make use of renewable energies, carbon emissions would be high.

The carbon footprint of PtX technologies “could even be much worse than with fossil fuels such as natural gas or diesel,” according to BUND chairman Ernst-Christoph Stolper.

The power source is essential when it comes to PtX because the process is so energy-intensive as it is based on artificially-produced hydrogen.

The PtX process can be carried out by steam reforming, which is based on natural gas and releases a lot of CO2.

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EurActiv, 30 Jul 2019: German environmental groups: PtX-tech not ‘necessarily’ climate-friendly