What is the role for hydrogen in the UK energy system? Assessment of hydrogen storage and injection into the gas grid using whole-system value chain optimisation

Christopher Quarton, Sheila Samsatli

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Abstract

With ambitions to achieve a net-zero emissions power generation sector by 2050, the UK will be increasingly reliant on intermittent energy sources such as wind and solar. This will lead to increased system variability, where energy supplies and demands do not always balance in time and space. Energy storage can be used to mitigate variability. Hydrogen, in particular, has great potential for large-scale energy storage.

In this work, we use a comprehensive MILP optimisation model for Great Britain (GB) to assess how much energy storage is optimal and how to implement it, in a system with high penetration of renewable energy.

The model accounts for time scales from hourly through to decadal, to capture all levels of variability, in addition to long-term system evolution. The GB system is represented with 16 spatial zones. The model simultaneously optimises the overall system design (e.g. what energy conversion, transport and storage technologies to install), and operating strategy on an hourly basis.

A range of hydrogen technologies are investigated, including electrolysis, fuel cells, and hydrogen storage in pressure vessels and underground. Hydrogen injection into the gas grid is also modelled, to explore the extent to which the gas grid’s linepack flexibility can be exploited.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jun 2019
EventWHTC 2019: 8th World Hydrogen Technologies Convention - Tokyo International Forum 3-5-1 Marunouchi,Chiyoda-k, Tokyo, Japan
Duration: 2 Jun 20197 Jun 2019

Conference

ConferenceWHTC 2019: 8th World Hydrogen Technologies Convention
CountryJapan
CityTokyo
Period2/06/197/06/19

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