Fresh water for electrolysers and green hydrogen in arid locations: Ensuring that high-intensity solar regions can support the hydrogen economy

The dominant path to green hydrogen is splitting water molecules using renewable electrical power on an electrolyser. The main source of renewable power generation globally at present is hydro power. Where electrolysers are used in proximity to a hydro dam, there will always be access to fresh water to create hydrogen.

However, the main ramp up in renewable power generation is from wind and solar power. The optimum location for wind power generation is often offshore, in salt water. The best places to generate low-cost solar power are generally in arid desert locations with limited access to fresh water. Hence the conundrum: how will fresh water be made available to the giga-scale green hydrogen projects of the future?

Variable renewable power generation for green hydrogen

Electrolysers are an expensive capital asset and represent a high portion of the capital investment for green hydrogen projects. It is therefore essential that electrolysers have a high utilisation rate, meaning they operate for many months each year and many hours each day.

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