Do you know that on some days California produced so much solar power that it had to export the excess power to Arizona and other neighboring states for free? Due to lack of enough storage technologies, much of these abundant energy from wind and solar farms goes to waste. Phenomenon like this has forced lawmakers and energy experts to find ways to save the over produced energy rather than let it go to waste.
With clean energy emerging as the cheapest form of electricity generation, Green Hydrogen becomes a promising solution to such situation. It is an essential solution when there is more renewable energy being produced than is needed. Excess energy can be used to create hydrogen fuel, which can then be stored and used later to generate electricity.
Hydrogen is an important energy carrier and has several advantages. A large volume of hydrogen can be easily stored in several different ways, including underground caverns, tanks, or through chemical compounds that release hydrogen after heating. In some instances, it is cheaper to ship hydrogen by pipeline than sending electricity over long distances by wire.
Hydrogen gas has the highest energy content of any fuel, as it has the capability to store substantial amounts of energy in a small quantity. When the electricity required in production of Hydrogen comes from excess energy generated by sun or wind, operations cost will go down, resultantly making it more cost-effective energy source.
Green Hydrogen can truly help decarbonize transport, heating, and industrial processes. Hydrogen is a clean fuel that, when consumed in a fuel cell, produces only water, electricity, and heat. Because of its high efficiency and almost no emissions, green hydrogen has the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions!
Why not batteries?
While talking about storage, batteries must come to your mind. Batteries are still needed because they can most efficiently store and discharge energy over short periods. But they alone will not be able to solve the seasonal storage problem. Whereas hydrogen is more effective for longer storage because it doesn’t lose energy over and can be stored in very long quantity.
Nowadays, most of the hydrogen is produced using fossil fuels, creating greenhouse gas emissions. But if generated with excess energy produced by the renewables, it became one of cleanest and economical fuel on earth.
Hydrogen for storage is like path less travelled. Technology experts have the view that the technologies have different strengths, especially with energy storage. They say California ultimately needs a mix of hydrogen and batteries to reduce carbon emissions. Also, with the support of policy from lawmakers. green hydrogen can cut a large portion of greenhouse gas emissions at a bearable cost.