Decarbonising the production of hydrogen
The ongoing trend to deploy more renewable power sources is a positive step towards reducing dependency on fossil fuels, but it causes some big issues for electricity grid operators. Balancing the grid is becoming more challenging, because renewables are increasing the temporal mismatch between supply and demand on all timescales. Conventional grid balancing techniques cause CO2 emissions (ramping up a gas or coal power plant), so a new approach is needed for managing the emerging low-carbon power system.
Rapid response PEM electrolysers can be used to absorb additional renewable energy on the electricity network and to provide up/down response to help stabilise frequency and voltage variations. The hydrogen that the electrolyser generates can also be stored in underground caverns, then used to generate renewable power at times when the wind isn’t blowing or the sun shining back (via a fuel cell or hydrogen gas turbine).