Hydrogen Market to Advance as Researchers Present a Cross-Sector Model that could help Reduce Emissions and Cost

Posted On December 30, 2021     

Hydrogen is light, tolerable, and energy-dense. Further, it produces zero direct carbon dioxide emission at the point of use. All these characteristics of the energy carrier make it an excellent alternative for harnessing future clean energy. Governments and businesses worldwide are increasing their investments in hydrogen research and development, indicating that hydrogen has a significant role in meeting global energy system decarbonization goals. Because hydrogen is light, energy-dense, storable, and emits no CO2 directly at the point of use, it has the potential to be used in a variety of ways in a future clean energy system.
Recently a team has developed a framework that would further help integrate hydrogen into the energy systems. The researchers co-optimized infrastructure operation and investment over the whole hydrogen and electricity supply chains for different price scenarios. The approach is highly beneficial for Hydrogen Market as it would lead to cost and emission reductions. This is because it relies on the hydrogen’s potential to offer electricity systems a large flexible load while using electrolysis. This is done while also facilitating the decarbonization of difficult-to-electrify sensors. 
The present study brings forth a systematic framework to help study the role and effect of hydrogen-based technologies for future low-carbon energy systems. The team also considered the interactions with Spatio-temporal variations and electrical grid within energy demand and supply. 
Through experiments and research, the team discovered that better operational flexibility is obtained for supporting VRE (Variable Renewable Energy) integration within the power sector if power and hydrogen sectors are combined. This can be done either through electrolysis or hydrogen-based power generation. Further, the combination could also reduce the need for another grid-balancing supply-side resource like dispatchable gas generation, battery storage, etc. This is good news and could even lead to a decrease in overall system cost. The increased VRE penetration may also help reduce emissions in comparison to scenarios with no sector-couple. 
The electricity-based hydrogen production offers excellent flexibility for balancing the grid. This ability is as important as the hydrogen being produced for decarbonization, and various other end uses. The team realized that this sort of grid interaction was much more favorable than traditional hydrogen-based electricity storage. Since later, this can lead to added capital cost and efficiency losses when hydrogen is converted to power. The findings indicate that hydrogen’s role in the grid is immensely beneficial as a source of flexible demand than as storage. 
The multi-sector modeling approach presented by the researchers highlights that CCS (Caro Capture ad Storage) is most feasible when utilized within the hydrogen supply chain instead of the power sector. They claimed that six times more CCS projects in the power sector would be initiated by the end of the decade than in hydrogen production. This finding also suggests that more cross-sectoral modelling is required if the future energy system is to be adequately planned. 

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