Journal Article

Green hydrogen for heating and its impact on the power system

August 3, 2021

International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, Vol. 46, Issue 53, August, 2021, pp. 26725-26740

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With a relatively high energy density, hydrogen is attracting increasing attention in research, commercial and political spheres, specifically as a fuel for residential heating, which is proving to be a difficult sector to decarbonise in some circumstances. Hydrogen production is dependent on the power system so any scale use of hydrogen for residential heating will impact various aspects of the power system, including electricity prices and renewable generation curtailment (i.e. wind, solar). Using a linearised optimal power flow model and the power infrastructure on the island of Ireland this paper examines least cost optimal investment in electrolysers in the presence of Ireland's 70% renewable electricity target by 2030. The introduction of electrolysers in the power system leads to an increase in emissions from power generation, which is inconsistent with some definitions of green hydrogen. Electricity prices are marginally higher with electrolysers whereas the optimal location of electrolysers is driven by a combination of residential heating demand and potential surplus power supplies at electricity nodes.