Hydrogen option for gas network can offer more choice in 2020 and beyond


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The question of how much fuel use can be offset by the use of hydrogen in 2020 is one of the key objectives of the Belfast Met led European hydrogen project GenComm. This week GenComm partners had their paper ‘At What cost can renewable hydrogen offset fossil fuel use in Ireland’s gas network’ published in the international journal ‘Energies’, based in Basel, Switzerland.

GenComm’s techno economic model , the ‘DST’, the Decision Support Tool can examine the potential of wind to help produce renewable hydrogen. The results of  a techno economic model of Wind Hydrogen Systems located at each wind farm in Ireland is presented in the paper. When an electrolyser operates with available wind or at full capacity the Wind Hydrogen System shows a better performance  reflected in lower cost hydrogen.  The WHS can harness the wind with support from grid electricity to produce hydrogen and transport it to the Irish natural gas grid.

The future potential of hydrogen capacity from current wind capacities reaches 49 kilo tonnes which is equivalent to nearly 3% energy demand of natural gas in Ireland. Additional capacities in the future can elevate the potential of hydrogen to substitute energy from natural gas to almost 6%. This potential can be exploited after technical, economic and regulation challenges in hydrogen injection at potential sites are answered. The paper recommends Irish energy stakeholders structure and establish a regulation for hydrogen injection to the gas grid. This stimulates more renewables in the gas network particularly renewable hydrogen.

The researchers are currently the driving force behind the Decision Support Tool which shows how hydrogen can offset fuel use/costs, a key objective of the GenComm project. The conclusions in the paper are the result of a techno economic model of distributed wind hydrogen systems (WHS) located at each existing wind farm in Ireland. Further details on https://www.mdpi.com/1996-1073/13/7/1798/htm