IMPEGA - IMPort of Electricity-based GAs
Synthetic fuels must be produced at appropriate locations to allow for cost-competitive and environmentally sound supply and replacement of fossil fuels to reduce GHG emissions in an effective way. Iceland, with its ample hydropower potential and geothermal power stations as point sources for CO2 supply, represents such a location. The Nordur Power SNG AG aims at implementing a facility for production of synthetic natural gas (SNG) in Iceland, using hydropower for electrolysis and CO2 from the geothermal power plant Hellisheidi as feedstock for methanation of hydrogen and CO2 with subsequent SNG import to Switzerland. IMPEGA represents a feasibility study regarding logistics of SNG import and the quantification of environmental burdens of SNG supply and use. An evaluation of the environmental performance of SNG in terms of life-cycle GHG emissions and ecological scarcity is expected to be required for application of tax exemptions for import of SNG to be regarded as “renewable-based fuel”.
The Technology Assessment group is performing the LCA of the SNG production, supply, and use chain. The investigated SNG production represents a case of “CCU-fuel” (Carbon Capture and Utilization). Different LCA approaches for the “recycling” of CO2 and – in collaboration with SmartLogistics/FHNW – different SNG transport options are investigated. SNG can be used in natural gas cars and boilers. Preliminary results indicate a substantial reduction of both GHG emissions and ecological scarcity scores (representing the overall environmental performance) of SNG compared to fossil alternatives. The final outcomes are expected for spring 2021.
Zhang, X. and Bauer, C. (2021). Life Cycle Assessment of Synthetic Natural Gas produced with CO2 from geothermal energy generation in Iceland and used in Switzerland. In “Projekt IMPEGA – Schlussbericht", Nordur power grid association, Bern, Switzerland.