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Navigant forecasts transportation demand for hydrogen to accelerate Power-to-Gas growth

20 September 2017

Navigant Research forecasts that the transportation segment, with hydrogen demand as a catalyst, will jump-start power-to-gas (P2G) demand and further drive down electrolyzer and other infrastructure costs.

P2G—the conversion of electrical power into gaseous energy carriers—has been held back from mass adoption by high costs, regulatory hurdles, and difficulties with infrastructure. However, Navigant suggests, as the levelized cost of renewable energy falls and as electrolyzer technologies improve and decline in price, P2G business models are taking shape.

Navigant notes that P2G offers benefits to the electric grid through the integration of renewable energy sources. By ramping production up or down from a 50% setpoint, a P2G plant can emulate a load or generator from the grid’s perspective—thus ramping and smoothing renewables power output and time-shifting energy supply on a scale from hours to months.

P2g

P2G business models are reaching an inflection point, thanks to improving electrolyzer technology and falling capital costs among renewables like PV and wind. With hydrogen demand from the transportation sector as a catalyst, P2G is forecast to take off since it can both provide high-value clean fuels and support the electric grid with flexible operation—on timescales from seconds to months.

—Adam Forni, senior research analyst with Navigant Research

As costs fall, Navigant expects growth in the non-transport segments, creating opportunities for a variety of market players. According to the report, Power-to-Gas for Renewables Integration, electrolyzer vendors scaling up operations should seek partnerships with a ranges of companies from renewable energy developers to software storage companies.

Navigant also suggests that renewables developers should consider P2G on any project of sufficient scale, and gas utilities should consider what it means that hydrogen could be the fuel of the low carbon future. Meanwhile, electric utilities and grid operators should recognize the value electrolyzers can provide to the grid.

September 20, 2017 in Hydrogen, Hydrogen Production, Power Generation, Power-to-Gas | Permalink | Comments (21)

Comments

From 0 to 1500 MW in 8 years? I doubt it although the total power is only the output of 2 moderate sized units of a nuclear power plant.

Two moderate size nuclear plants would take 12 to 16 years to build?

H2 is an excellent energy storage media.

Electrolysers can produce clean H2 with exccess/surplus REs. FCs can produce clean electricity in mobile units (cars-trucks-locomotives-ships etc) and at fixed plants for the power grids.

There are no practical limits to how much clean H2 can be produced, stored and used to supply clean energy for transportation, industries, agriculture and many other uses to progressively replace all bio and fossil polluting fuels to reduce pollution and GHG.

HD:
Well said!

I expect there won't be much hydrogen generation from renewables until renewable generation exceeds demand. Otherwise you are choosing to supply either the grid or the electolyzer with fossil generated electricity. It might make more sense to shut the fossil generator down and pay them for the electricity they might have generate.

Ohhh....that's so cute! They actually think H2 has anything to do with passenger vehicles LMAO!!!

https://cleantechnica.com/2017/09/20/epic-battery-electric-car-sales-vs-hydrogen-fuel-cell-car-sales-revolutionrising-bnefsummit/

Electricity demand and supply are not always or seldom matched.

Electrolysers could be used outside peak demand periods, i.e. about 70% to 80% of the time and by intermittent (Solar-Wind) energy sources.

Some of the clean H2 produced could be used to feed large FCs and produce clean electriity to cover some of the demand during peak periods and remove more old CPPs to reduce pollution and GHG.

The bulk of the clean H2 produced, with clean excess-surplus e-energy, could be stored and distributed for use by FCEVs of all sizes.

Hydrogen power is like fusion power, it's always just around the corner

Hydrogen is the most common element in the universe. It is free and present in great/huge quantities on Earth (in water) and can be cleanly extracted with free excess Solar and Wind e-energy.

Secondly, clean H2 can be stored for future uses, in fixed FCs to produce clean electricity to handle peak demands and in FCEVs of all sizes to reduce pollution and GHGs.

Clean H2 is much cheaper to extract-store and use than Nuclear-Coal-NG power plants. Mass produced electrolyzers + compressors can fit into standard transportable containers and install in many thousand places very quickly.

Solar energy is also free and plentiful but batteries are still limited and too costly for extended range heavy vehicles.

Renewable energy goes to waste because utilities can't or won't reduce fossil fuel power generation when it is available.

HarveyD

I used the example of 2 nuclear power units to indicate the amount of power involved. Use 5 large gas turbine units if you prefer.

Anyway, this whole concept does not make much sense to me. In the United States, the amount of renewable energy is about 8.4 % not counting hydro which can be controlled or stored. So the best thing is to just put the power in the grid and burn less coal or gas.

Using the best numbers that I could find, the efficiency of an electrolizer is from 43 to 67 %, the efficiency of a fuel cell is about 40 to 60 % and it takes about 10 % of the available energy to compress the hydrogen. So using the high range, you only get back 36 % of what you put in (0.67 x 0.60 x 0.90 = 0.36). Using the middle of the range, you only get back 25 %.

So while, hydrogen is the most common element, getting it out of water is really expensive. The best way is probably high temperature electrolysis using nuclear power if we only had a surplus of nuclear power.

Yes sd, the amount of renewable energy is about 8.4 % in the United States while nuclear is about 20 %. But that's only part of the story. RE is very new and hasn't had the advantages fossil & nuclear have - until recently. Some forms of RE are now at price parity and their grid mix, which stared from nearly 0 only a few years ago, is growing fast. But nuclear, which we've had for 50+ years, has been sitting at 20 % for how long?

I wouldn't rule out the possibility that at some point in the future renewable generation capacity is so inexpensive that generators will overbuild rather that include storage. In that event there will be surplus renewable energy that can be used to produce hydrogen and the the hydrogen would be useful as a long-term backup.

ai vin

I was not arguing against renewable energy. I was arguing that using RE to generate hydrogen to then use to generate electricity using fuel cells does not make much sense as at best you only get back 36% of the input enrgy and more likely the return is 25% or less. We do not have an overall surplus of renewable energy. One of the problems with wind and solar is that it can fluctuate wildly with wind gusts and clouds, etc. Without a very large network or grid, it will not suffice for base load.

SOEC are 70% SOFC with output turbo are 70%, allowing 5% for compression that would make 45% round trip. Sell the oxygen to offset costs.

@ sd:
Considering the overall efficiency of H2-production via REs including losses incurred at storage you'll end up below 20%. That is a pure waste of energy no matter how cheap REs will manage to be in the future.

With solar panels efficiency approaching 40% to 50% and direct drive slow turning wind turbines, on very high towers, approaching 10 MW, those two sources of REs will soon produce enormous amount of clean electricity.

Being intermittent sources, matching supply and demand, will require major adjustments in most grids. Two ways currenly available are:

1) more efficient, very expensive limited batteries pathway.

2) more affordable but less efficent, almost unlimited H2 avenue.

In practice, both ways are possible and will probably be used together with extended range BEVs, FCEVs and e-planes.

CPPs and then NGPPs and ICEVs will progressively be phased out

Panels are 20% multi junction concentrator cells are 40%.

Batteries are a lot more expensive but they also make a lot more financial sense as sort term grid storage. They are financially viable now. In Q1 2017 California alone installed over 200 megawatt hours of battery grid storage. California basically is the US market at this point but that represents a 50 fold increase YOY. GTM projects that this market will grow 10 fold between now and 2022. With battery prices in $/kWh expected to drop in half by 2021 and battery life expected to double in that time (effectively a 4 fold increase in ROI) I would think that 10 X increase would be conservative. The limiting factor is likely to be production capacity rather than demand.

I would expect that in the future we will see intelligence added to the grid and what we'll see is discretionary consumption incented to shift to match production. On a larger scale intermittent production is more predictable.

While FCs may prove to be financially viable for some electricity production needs I doubt that H2 will be the choice. I would expect that priority would be given to carbon positive processes which use electricity to produce fuel suitable for seasonal storage.

Regardless of the competition between BEV and FCV, at this moment already, huge amounts of H2 are being produced for all kinds of industrial applications.
Producing this from renewables instead of natural gas will require huge P2G capacity, and permit stabilisation of the grid.

I see it as AND not OR when it comes to EV/FCV.

Some sort of future liquified H2 may reduce the space required per given energy content and make electrified (H2) small airplanes and FCEVs a competitive reality.

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