On Thursday, 29 October 2020, four Slovenian companies (Plinovodi, ELES, Holding Slovenske elektrarne and Hidroelektrarne na Spodnji Savi), which have joined their know-how, experience and perspectives on the upcoming energy transition, submitted to the Innovation Fund a joint application regarding the SLOP2G project. The project is the first concrete step towards a zero-carbon society and energy transition in the field of integration of the electricity and gas sectors. Coordinated by Plinovodi, the four companies started preparing the application, which was submitted today to the Innovation Fund, in 2019. The partners assess that the concept of this first Slovenian project of its kind meets the stringent requirements of the call for applications, while also implying what the future development of the Slovenian energy sector will be like.
What is the project actually all about? SLOP2G integrates two energy locations in which renewable electricity and surplus electricity in the system will be transformed into green hydrogen, which will be then converted into synthetic methane through methanation process. In both locations, green hydrogen and synthetic methane is going to be available for injection into the gas transmission network and for use by final industrial and commercial users. There will be two options for the injection – in the form of green hydrogen through a hydrogen pipeline or synthetic methane through a gas pipeline. The project also envisages the setting up of an optimisation and simulation model for the optimisation of sources of electricity needed for the production of green hydrogen and consumption of mixtures of hydrogen and synthetic methane with natural gas. The setting up of a trading platform for renewable gases involving certification attesting to green gas origins is an important part of the project, respectively.
The first Slovenian green gas project associates key Slovenian companies in the field of management of gas and electricity transmission networks and producers of electricity from various renewable sources. This, in addition to the demonstrative introduction of projects requiring the transformation of green electricity into green gas, also represents an infrastructural integration of the electricity and gas sectors, which will have a much wider impact in addition to the recognised objectives and benefits. Green gas is a link and an energy source in the transition to a carbon-neutral society, as has been declared by the European Union with the European Green Deal, the EU hydrogen strategy and the EU strategy on energy system integration. The project also witnesses the progressiveness and innovativeness of Slovenian companies in introducing new sustainable technologies and an active transition to a green society. As such, it is an important start to the decarbonisation of industry, mass consumption, transport and other fields.
The project has been endorsed by three ministries; the Ministry of Infrastructure, the Ministry of the Environment and Spatial Planning and the Ministry of Defence.
The application submission was accompanied by statements from the directors of the participating companies:
Marjan Eberlinc, director general of Plinovodi d.o.o.:
“I’m happy that the joint initiative has produced concrete results. We are aware that the application, despite all its complexity, is only the first step on a long path, but what encourages us is that a spirit of sectoral cooperation and association has been formed and that the importance of the future joint work has been recognised. I can say that this is already a test of our energy transition as the most demanding process for energy in the coming decade.”
Aleksander Mervar, director of ELES d.o.o.
“The company ELES recognises in this project an important alternative to the existing approaches to long-term readiness for the storage of surplus electricity and the optimisation of operation of connected energy systems. The project also contributes to our rich innovation activity in national and international development and research projects.”
Bogdan Barbič, director of HESS, d.o.o.
“The Slovenian energy sector is proving again that it is capable of cooperating and integrating in order to conceive projects which bring benefits to the society, environment and economy. The key for implementing the climate strategy will be the production of green energy and its long-term storage. The multi-purpose projects of hydro power plants on the lower Sava River are already the proof that Slovenia is able to manage water resources responsibly and, by doing so, develop the environment. The Slovenian green hydrogen project is above all an opportunity to show our hidden potential in achieving energy excellence.”
Stojan Nikolić, the chief executive officer of HSE d.o.o.
“By actively participating in the project, we significantly complement the mosaic of our activity, while also raising awareness about the importance of innovative approaches and solutions for the transition to a carbon-neutral society and climate neutrality. After all, this is also one of the major goals the HSE Group has set for the coming period. A project such as SLOP2G also proves how much know-how and experience the Slovenian energy sector possesses and how far we can go if we combine this know-how and experience.”