Hydrogen Infrastructure Expansion Requires Realistic Framework
Date posted: September 29, 2021
With expected improvements in hydrogen generation technologies (most notably electrolysis) and reduction in costs, the supple of hydrogen will grow. Modeling and assessing supply- and demand-driven market scenarios will provide the framework through which to better for realistic infrastructure and storage requirements.
Global Renewable and Low-Carbon Gas Report (2021 Edition)
Date posted: November 18, 2021
Over the recent years, the momentum of supportive policy commitments toward reaching the goals of 2015 Paris Agreements has been growing – including, in no small part, plans and strategies to develop low-or-zero carbon hydrogen and renewable gas.
While natural gas, which currently provides around 25% of global primary energy supply, is the lowest carbon fossil fuel, there is growing recognition of the importance of low-carbon gases, as key decarbonisation actors. These include biogas, produced by anaerobic digestion and typically used for combined heat and power near the point of production; biomethane (also known as renewable natural gas) from upgrading biogas, and low-carbon hydrogen. A key question, however, is whether these low-carbon gaseous fuels can be developed fast enough and at a reasonable cost. Against that background, the International Gas Union, with support from the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies and its partners from Imperial College London and University of Texas, Austin, started launched this global renewable gas database project to track development of low-carbon and renewable gas supply around the world. As more projects are developed, and scope and coverage of the databases increases in parallel, this will provide the ability to track the extent to which actual project developments are consistent with ambitious goals which have been set.
Analysis of Hydrogen Fuel Cell Class 8 Trucks
Date posted: January 7, 2022
This paper specifically focuses on hydrogen fuel cell class 8 trucks. Class 8 trucks are vehicles that weigh over 53,000 lbs., which are most commonly 18-wheeler trucks. Heavy duty vehicles contribute to 23% of transportation emissions of greenhouse gases and a quarter the fuel consumed annually due to long traveling distances and heavy cargo. Therefore, sizable reduction of transportation sector emissions could be accomplished by using alternative fuels, such as hydrogen, for trucks.
Renewable Electrolysis in Texas: Pipelines versus Power Lines
Date posted: August 3, 2021
Using wind and solar generation to power electrolysis facilities and produce “green” hydrogen at scale would require infrastructure investment. Using current technology, we identify at least one situation in which producing hydrogen at the point of electricity generation and transporting it to the point of use via pipeline costs about one third that of transmitting the electricity and generating hydrogen at the point of use. This raises the possibility that hydrogen pipelines might provide an alternative to high voltage transmission lines for connecting renewable generation with demand. In this white paper, we explore the tradeoffs of those two options.
Market Competitive Electrolysis in ERCOT
Date posted: July 1, 2021
Across US and global markets, demand for hydrogen is increasing. Simultaneously, the cost of producing hydrogen via electrolysis using electricity is decreasing, creating new market opportunities for this low-carbon hydrogen production process. To assess this opportunity, three key cost factors for hydrogen production using an electrolyzer need to be considered: capital, operating, and electricity cost. Of these three, the electricity cost can be assumed to vary most widely by location due to local availability of generating sources and local market rate structures. Although conventional wisdom holds that electrolyzers can only operate profitably if given very low electricity prices, this paper highlights an existing electricity market where electrolysis could be an attractive and profitable option for hydrogen production today.
Since electricity prices vary over time, an electrolysis facility can choose when and to what extent to adjust its hydrogen production to target lower electricity prices and consequently reduce its hydrogen production costs. This white paper uses historical electricity price data from the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), the grid that serves 90% of Texas, coupled with a basic techno-economic model of electrolysis to explore the costs and benefits of flexible electrolysis operation considering variable wholesale electricity prices. With strategic operating schedules, cost reductions, and efficiency improvements, electrolysis shows promise as a low-carbon, cross-sector, market competitive, and flexible source of hydrogen.