Gas Hydrates - the reserve from the permafrost
Methane is the fossil energy resource that generates the least emissions and is particularly versatile as regards potential uses. For that reason, RWE is working on large-scale research projects to exploit previously untapped sources of this fuel. One promising possibility is that known as methane hydrates. These are formed when methane becomes enclosed in ice crystals under high pressure and at low temperature.
This “frozen natural gas” occurs below the seabed, but also on land in permafrost soils. RWE is working on several projects to find ways of economically tapping marine methane reserves for use as a fuel in the future. After all, the deposits below the sea are not only a new energy source but also an interesting opportunity for controlling climate change. For instance, the CO2 captured in power plants could be pumped into the ice to take the place of the extracted methane. The result would be a CO2-neutral natural gas and a safe repository for greenhouse gases.