Merkel lays foundation for 'hybrid' German power plant
German Chancellor Angela Merkel laid the foundation stone Tuesday for the world's first hybrid power station, generating electricity, heat and hydrogen -- and all from renewable sources of energy.
The plant near Prenzlau north of Berlin costing 21 million euros (27 million dollars) is due to be up and running in a year, supplying hundreds of local households with electricity and heating.
Wind power is a highly intermittent power source with output varying greatly, often producing either too much power or not enough, but the new plant gets around the problem, according to Enertrag, the firm constructing it.
Any excess power is used to make hydrogen which is either stored and sold to third parties as fuel, or used -- together with biomass -- to generate electricity when the plant is not producing enough, the German firm said.
Excess heat produced in producing electricity meanwhile is piped to local households and businesses for heating using a process called cogeneration or combined heat and power (CHP).All rights reserved. © 2005 Agence France-Presse. Sections of the information displayed on this page (dispatches, photographs, logos) are protected by intellectual property rights owned by Agence France-Presse. As a consequence, you may not copy, reproduce, modify, transmit, publish, display or in any way commercially exploit any of the content of this section without the prior written consent of Agence France-Presse.