Revolutionizing Energy Storage: The Role of Carbon-Negative Power Generation

Expert opinion

Reverion GmbH
Published on:
visuel article blog Reverion

The transition to a future without fossil fuels is one of the greatest challenges humanity has ever faced. Indeed, the problem is more urgent today than ever. However, still 85 % of global CO2 emissions come from the combustion of fossil fuels.

We still rely on electricity generated from fossil fuels to cover demand during periods when renewable energy is not enough. Therefore, a critical aspect of the transition to a 100 % renewable future is the integration of volatile renewable sources such as wind and solar energy. Despite the potential of these renewable energy sources, their inherent intermittency poses a significant obstacle, as they are unable to consistently meet ever-changing energy demands.

In order to become independent from fossil resources, we need technologies that can generate renewable electricity regardless of weather conditions or have the ability to store energy when needed.

Furthermore, the current energy crisis has highlighted the problems of the EU's high dependency on natural gas imports.

Biogas can not only replace imported gas but is also the only significant renewable energy source capable of generating electricity weather-independently. However, today's biogas plants only utilize 40% of the energy potential, lack flexibility, and emit millions of tons of CO2.

This is where new technology comes into play

At Reverion our solution is a highly efficient, reversible, CO2-negative power plant for biogas, which we have successfully developed, patented, and validated over the years. Reverion plants can double electricity generation from the same amount of biogas through higher electrical efficiencies. Additionally, the same plant can produce green hydrogen or methane from intermittently surplus electricity. And in the overall process, pure, storable CO2 is separated, enabling negative CO2 emissions.

At the heart of Reverion is a groundbreaking technology that operates in two modes: as a power plant and as a power-to-gas unit. In power plant mode, biogas or hydrogen is electrochemically converted into electricity with an unprecedented 80% electrical efficiency. This efficiency far surpasses traditional gas engines, with around 40% efficiency, marking a significant advancement in energy generation.

In “power-to-gas” mode, our technology produces green hydrogen or methane from electricity. This synthetic, renewable gas can be seamlessly integrated into existing infrastructure, providing a versatile solution for power generation, heating and mobility fuel. Additionally, by using the existing gas network, Reverion guarantees long-term storage capacities, which meets a critical need in the transition to sustainable energy systems.

Reverion's modular and scalable design allows for cost-effective series production and easy installation, making it accessible for a wide range of applications and environments. This plug-and-play approach streamlines deployment, accelerating the adoption of carbon-negative power generation worldwide.

What exactly is biogas?

When organic waste - such as crop residues, manure, etc. - is decomposed in the absence of oxygen (anaerobic process), a mixture of methane, carbon dioxide, water, and hydrogen sulfide is released. These gases together are referred to as biogas. Biogas is typically used today with gas engines for electricity generation, but in some cases, it is also upgraded to biomethane and injected into the gas grid as a substitute for natural gas.

Biogas is already a cornerstone of the energy system and is particularly widespread in Germany. Of the approximately 20,000 biogas installations in Europe, almost half (~9,700 units) are located in Germany. This represents an installed electricity generation capacity of around 6.5 GW from biogas plants in Germany. However, last year these plants only produced around 28,000 GWh of electricity, which represents less than 50 % of their production potential. Thanks to Reverion, the electricity generation potential of these existing biogas plants can increase from around 6.5 GW to 11 GW. If we use the full flexibility of technology, it is even possible to produce 20 GW of electricity at peak times, or 30 % of the total electricity consumption in Germany (more than electricity production from coal Today !)

If the technology were rolled out across Europe, it could capture more than 100 million tons of CO2 annually as true negative emissions and save 10% of total Europe’s CO2 emissions by additionally displacing fossil fuels.

What do politics, economy, and society need to contribute?

Recognizing their pivotal roles, politics, economy, and society are key players in advancing revolutionary technologies like ours. It is essential for them to continue their support through direct public financial investment, as well as by implementing encouraging regulatory, fiscal, and communicative measures. The fundamental development is already widely publicly funded today. However, especially in the scale-up phase, there are sometimes unnecessary hurdles for start-ups, which make it difficult to bring new technologies quickly and efficiently into (mass) production and onto the market. Streamlining these processes will facilitate the swift and efficient integration of groundbreaking technologies.

There is still an opportunity to establish even more effective funding mechanisms. This is particularly important for supporting start-ups aiming to establish manufacturing on an industrial scale, especially those without the financial backing of established companies.

In the urgent face of the energy crisis, there's a promising path forward that holds benefits for everyone. There are many innovative technologies out there that can provide what politics and society urgently seek: the foundation for an affordable, stable, decentralized energy system. Our mission is to reverse global climate change and enable a carbon-free future. And we are convinced that we can only achieve this together.

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