Power-to-gas plants and their role in the electricity balancing market

This LAP is concerned with the status of, and legal coverage for, Power to Gas systems operating to provide ancillary services and specifically for demand side load balancing services


Balancing and Ancillary Services Markets. Balancing refers to the situation after markets have closed (gate closure) in which a TSO acts to ensure that demand is equal to supply, in and near real time.
An important aspect of balancing is the approach to procuring ancillary services.
Is it a barrier?
Type of Barrier
Operational barriers
Assessment Severity
The demand from the grid to the electrolyser plays a role in the balancing. Feeding back electricity to the net via the stored hydrogen and Fuel cell needs to have a minimum capacity >10MW to play a balancing role.

2 main aspects
1. conversion to hydrogen and back to electricity
2. Aplication of electrolyser in ancillary services (aFRR or mFRR) in relation to balancing the grid.


Question 1 Are electrolysers able to participate in the 3 ancillary services? If yes, please specify.
There are at least 6 ancillary services. Ancillary service for frequency support: if the frequency is not high enough then machines may break down. For each frequency different ancillary services. Frequency supported by the ancillary services for balancing the grid. Primary control reserves prevent the system from decreasing too much in frequency. If the frequency is going down then the frequency containment reserve (FCR) = primary reserve. Secondary, a FRR Automatic Frequency Restoration Reserve. Tertiary (emergency power) Manual Frequency restoration reserve (mFFR) Answer: No, not yet. Technological is a barrier. Technology is not ready to deliver the ancillary service. This could e.g be done via enough electrolyser connections to deliver to an aggregator which is connected to the energy system. If at a certain moment the electrolyser is big enough (100–1000 MW), than it can deliver enough to act as system balancing (aFFR)
Describe the comparable technology and its relevance with regard to hydrogen
Industrial applications and charging stations of battery electrical vehicles. The card to charge the battery of electric vehicle is the aggregator.

EU Legislation:

  • Directive 2012/27/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012 on energy efficiency
    This Directive establishes a common framework of measures for the promotion of energy efficiency within the Union in order to ensure the achievement of the Union’s 2020 20 % headline target on energy efficiency and to pave the way for further energy efficiency improvements beyond that date.

    It lays down rules designed to remove barriers in the energy market and overcome market failures that impede efficiency in the supply and use of energy and provides for the establishment of indicative national energy efficiency targets for 2020.
  • Commission Regulation (EU) 2017/2195 establishing a guideline on electricity balancing
    This Regulation lays down a detailed guideline on electricity balancing including the establishment of common principles for the procurement and the settlement of frequency containment reserves, frequency restoration reserves and replacement reserves and a common methodology for the activation of frequency restoration reserves and replacement reserves.