Power to gas: addressing renewable curtailment by converting to hydrogen
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Renewable energy is the key to meeting increasing electricity demand and the decarburization targets in the generation mix. However, due to constrained power network capacity, a large volume of renewable generation is curtailed particularly from wind power, which is a huge waste of resources. There are typically three approaches to addressing excessive renewable: direct curtailment, the reinforcement of networks to expand transfer capacity, and the conversion of excessive renewable into other energy types, such as hydrogen, to transport. The costs and benefits of the three approaches could vary significantly across location, time, and penetration of renewable energy. This paper conducts a cost-benefit analysis and comparison of the three techniques to address wind curtailment. It uses a reduced 16-busbar UK transmission network to analyze the performance of the three approaches. The UK 2020 generation mix is used to quantify the saved renewable energy and incurred costs. The payback time and net present value of the two investment techniques are compared. From demonstration, it is reasonable to conclude that converting excessive wind power into hydrogen to transport is an environmentally friendly and cost-effective way to address wind curtailment.
Keywordsblending hydrogen cost-benefit analysis electrolysis wind curtailment
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The work is in partially supported by the EPSRC project EP/M000141/1 and Chinese Scholarship Council (CSC).
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