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Develop local low-carbon hydrogen-power energy hub concept

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Andrew Richard Williams Andrew Richard Williams
Senior Principal Consultant Gasification and Sustainable Gas

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Joint industry project: Develop local low-carbon hydrogen-power energy hub concept

Challenge

To meet future decarbonization targets gas distributors in the UK and elsewhere are under pressure to accommodate renewable or low carbon gases such as biogas and hydrogen in their networks. At the same time the electricity networks are adapting to accommodate increasing levels of variable low-carbon renewables such as solar and wind power. 

Solution

Develop the concept of a local hydrogen-power hub where energy conversion technologies (power-to-gas and gas-to-power) are harnessed using smart control systems to combine imported and locally available power and gas to meet local energy requirements in an efficient and sustainable manner. 

Benefits

Avoids the curtailment of variable renewables at a local level thereby reducing carbon emissions and the capital investment in grid infrastructure needed to cater for changes in energy sources and usage patterns. This is a win-win-win for energy providers, energy users and the environment.

Value

Cost of balancing the UK Electricity grid in 2013-14 - >£1.0 billion1

Cost of decarbonizing UK heat duty to meet 2050 targets - £3-9 billion per year2

1% of the above figures would be worth £40-100 million per year to the UK gas and electricity industry.

1. ‘Electricity Balancing Services’  National Audit Office Briefing, May 2014

2. ‘2050 Energy Scenarios’ KPMG for the ENA, July 2016.