The research and development work managed by the DVGW comprises projects in regional and national contexts as well as pan-European research cooperations. It is the basis for technical development in the gas and water sector, promotes regulation and standardisation and ensures the quality of the official statements of the DVGW.
The International Gas Union (IGU) was founded in 1931 and registered as an international non-profit organisation in Vevey (Switzerland). The 163 members of IGU are associations and companies in the gas industry from 91 countries. The DVGW is a founding and full member of the IGU and represents the German gas industry.
The IGU's task is to promote the technical and economic development of the gas industry, which is regarded as a central component of a global sustainable energy system.
The integration of large amounts of renewable energy sources poses technological difficulties, as those sources are volatile and generate electricity just intermittently. There are two ways that go hand in hand to compensate this: Extending the existing electricity grid and storing large amounts of electric energy from renewable sources.
The latter method is addressed in the project "Innovative Large Scale Energy Storage Technologies & Power-to-Gas Concepts after Optimisation" (STORE&GO). It is an EU research project with a total budget of 28 million euros, started in March, 2016. The ambitious goals and targets of STORE&GO will be reached with a consortium of 27 partners from six European countries having expertise in the energy sector, process engineering, economics, law and social science.
A process called Power-to-Gas (PtG) allows for storing the surplus of renewable energies on sunny or windy days by the creation of synthetic natural gas (SNG). The produced gas can be stored in the existing gas grid or in underground caverns. The gas grid allows for the transportation of the gas to various applications whenever and wherever it is needed, e.g. for the generation of electricity, the generation of heat, or mobility. Power-to-Gas thereby facilitates the coupling of different energy sectors. In Europe approximately 70 million consumers of gas can be served using the 2.2 million km long gas grid.
STORE&GO goes beyond the state of the art of Power-to-Gas, which has been studied in several research projects. The project focuses on the integration of PtG into the daily operation of European energy grids to investigate the maturity level of the technology. For this purpose, three “innovative Power-to-Gas (PtG) storage concepts” at locations in Germany, Switzerland and Italy were developed.
STORE&GO will exploit the project’s results to safeguard the technology. In addition to the technical work packages linked to Power-to-Gas processes, STORE&GO will address the cross-cutting topics of Power-to-Gas. STORE&GO will accomplish the demonstration with a thorough economic and logistic/placement analysis. The integration into the existing power grid will be examined and recommendations for the electricity grid management including Power-to-Gas systems will be given. Furthermore, STORE&GO will assess the economic and business aspects and analyse the large-scale storage and market-uptake potential of the STORE&GO technology. This will lead to business models, a Power-to-Gas roadmap for Europe as well as recommendations for policy makers. Another objective is to reduce the barriers in social public acceptance. Linked to this STORE&GO will examine legislative and legal aspects on European, national and local level, which have a deep impact on the installation and operation of future STORE&GO based Power-to-Gas plants. Finally, STORE&GO will release news on the project here on this website as well as in media and on conferences.
The European Water Platform WssTP, formerly the Water Supply and Sanitation Technology Platform, was initiated by the European Commission in 2004 to increase the competitiveness of the EU water sector through cooperation in research and technology development. In 2007, WssTP became an independent legal entity under Belgian law. Today, WssTP has above all an advisory role for the EU Commission in shaping research programmes and in defining water-related research priorities and key topics. Currently, 16 thematic working groups offer a very successful environment for the exchange of information and networking and the formation of consortia for research proposals.
Six of the more than 150 WssTP members, including the DVGW, are from Germany. The DVGW is represented in the WssTP Innovation and Technology Advisory Board iTAB, which advises the WssTP decision-making bodies. The iTAB is primarily involved in steering the existing 16 thematic working groups and initiating new working groups.
In 2015, the DVGW Head Office and the DVGW Water Technology Centre TZW jointly launched the new WssTP Water and Energy Working Group. The working group, whose 24 founding members come from Germany, Finland, France, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Austria, Sweden and Spain, will initially focus on the following issues in particular:
WssTP is in close contact with the EU Commission and other European initiatives in the water sector to give water-related issues the necessary importance at European level. WssTP's actions are oriented towards the following objectives:
In the interest of the entire water industry, the German Association for Water, Wastewater and Waste e. V. (DWA) and the DVGW have pooled their respective competencies in research and technical-scientific work, and for this purpose the Water Innovation Circle WIC was established in 2014. DWA and DVGW cover the entire water cycle with their fields of activity. The central competence of DWA and DVGW lies in the networking of research, science and practice. The focus is on the engineering sciences, by means of which technical solutions are created in exchange with other disciplines.
Research transfer is of crucial importance for targeted research, the implementation of research results and a sustainable anchoring in practice. The particular strength of DWA and DVGW is the bundling of actors operating in Germany along the water cycle, such as water supply companies and waste disposal companies, environmental administrations, manufacturers and service providers, engineering offices and above all universities and research institutions. The statutory tasks of DWA and DVGW in the field of standardization and technical regulation in connection with education and training are an optimal basis for ensuring the exchange of science and practice and a targeted transfer of research to the entire industry.
The German water industry is constantly confronted with new challenges. This applies to the entire water cycle. Developments and effects such as demographic changes and climate variability can further intensify these challenges. In order to maintain the high level in this existential area, consistent and future-oriented, practice-oriented research and development is urgently needed. It secures innovation and must focus on sustainability in order to meet the challenges of the future adequately.
The Water Innovation Circle WIC is intended, on the one hand, to map the research needs from practice and, on the other hand, to promote the transfer of research results into practice. The key objectives are as follows:
ERIG is a non-profit research and development network for European cooperation in research on sustainable and innovative gas technologies and the use of natural gas in combination with renewable energies.
ERIG members represent national technical and scientific gas organisations and associations. The network offers a platform that is directly linked to research and in the member countries, be it at universities or in industry. The research portfolio of the ERIG members covers all aspects from gas production to gas utilisation in different markets.
The ERIG innovation network aims to develop the role of gas by improving the efficiency of the energy conversion processes associated with gas in the household, commercial and industrial sectors, in particular with regard to gas applications and other technologies. In addition, the aim is to improve the safety, reliability and economic sustainability of the European gas infrastructure system and gas storage facilities and to expand the use of liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a fuel for long-distance land and water transport.