Seasonal storage of hydrogen to balance renewable generation will be cost-competitive in 2050, says DNV GL, a Norway-based consulting firm that advises the energy and shipping industries.
The firm modeled nonstop production of hydrogen every summer, using electrolysis units powered by market electricity. The hydrogen would be compressed and stored underground in salt caverns or depleted gas fields, and the following winter would be converted nonstop to electricity, using fuel cells. Daily balancing would be achieved using batteries and pumped hydro. To the extent the entire grid ran on renewables in the summer, the hydrogen would be “green,” or renewably produced.
A project along these lines is under development in Utah, and would use underground salt caverns to store hydrogen. The hydrogen would be renewably produced by 2045, to help Los Angeles achieve its renewables goal.
The DNV GL study also considered hydrogen produced on another continent using solar power, stored either as-is, or after conversion to ammonia or synthetic methane, and shipped to its destination each winter. These options (bars 3 to 5 below) have costs more than double that of locally produced hydrogen (bar 6), as they involve more steps, each with its own costs. All options were compared to wintertime combustion of natural gas with a carbon tax, pegged at 54 euros per metric ton of carbon dioxide (bar 1).
DNV GL projects that a seasonal storage business will be preceded by a market for synthetic fuels. This is the case in the Utah hydrogen storage project, where plans for the early project years call for hydrogen to be mixed with natural gas for combustion in gas turbines.
DNV GL also projects that in 2050, ample short-term storage capacity will be available, in the form of grid batteries, electric vehicle-to-grid applications, and pumped hydro, “to accommodate daily and weekly cycles” in both renewable generation and electricity demand.
DNV GL’s report, The promise of seasonal storage, includes an appendix showing capital and operating costs for all technologies evaluated.
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What is the efficiency of this process?
Electrolysis, collection, compression, transportation, storage.
And this doesn’t even talk about hydrogen embrittlement which reduces the life of metals.
Seems to me that battery storage is far more efficient. Or even using the electrical power to create heat.
The only advantage i can see is being able to transport the hydrogen like other fuels.
I cannot believe they actually could store a large amount of hydrogen under ground!!! It’s going to be seeping out so damn fast they will not be able to fill it… The first gas to leave Earth atmosphere is hydrogen… How much hydrogen is Earth going to lose once we have a hydrogen economy???
Good Development to wards limiting Global Temperature to 1.5 C. Can the storage used for Natural gas or other petroleum products can be made use for storage of Hydrogen
Purifying and electrolyzing ocean water provides hydrogen
Renewable hydrogen and oxygen production from purified ocean water provides relatively clean fuel and possible re-oxygenation of ocean dead zones.
Don’t waste chasing outdated technology, when cheaper alternatives are right here.
Battery technology may not have evolved enough by 2050 to store energy for 3 – 6 months in a cost competitive way. Maybe DNV GL thinks this technology is more likely to have evolved by 2050 to do that.
Solar at €20/MWh, electrolysis adds 25% so thats €25/MWh hydrogen, and then just pump it into the gas grid. Or offshore wind with an offpeak rate of €20/MWh as well (€60 at peak rate).
Their figures are excessive.
In fact, I am pretty sure those figures are wrong; even some major reports give a €450/kW price for electrolysers in 2050 – and Nel are already producing there electrolysers for €420/kW. They are probably using a €7-800/kW electrolyser price; which is what they were in 2018. Europe has a ’40GW+40GW electrolysis’ initiative with IPCEI status; meaning it will definitely happen.
That is going to dramatically lower the cost of electrolysis; possibly getting to the Chinese price of electrolysers which is €200/kW .
Okay; quick check, and yes they are using an electrolyser capex of €610/kW in 2050! Nel have 360MW of annual manufacturing capacity and are offering their electrolysers for €420/kW! They are also building a much larger factory.
“Nel expects to deliver a 40% cost reduction (from $700/kW to $420/kW) by expanding the capacity of its electrolyzer manufacturing factory in Notodden, Norway, from 40 MW per year to 360MW per year. It aims to complete this expansion by 2020.”
This factory is now built, and you can guess what the prices are going to be once 80GW of electrolysis is manufactured. The issue for DNV GL is lost revenue from natural gas; its as simple as that. Electrolysed hydrogen will be cheaper than gas, and its already competing with SMR hydrogen today.
So basically, the plan is to get 90% of the energy from natural gas until the hydrogen turbines are ready. Here’s an idea: get the hydrogen turbines ready, THEN we can see about building it as a truly green energy storage system. Investing a lot of money on a technology that is basically greenwashed fossil fuels is a waste. We already have too many natural gas plants and don’t need any more.
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