Hydrogen production based on wind power can already be commercially viable today. Until now, it was generally assumed that this environmentally friendly Power-to-Gas technology could not be implemented profitably.
Economists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), the University of Mannheim and Stanford University have now described, based on the market situations in Germany and Texas, how flexible production facilities could make this technology a key component in the transition of the energy system.
From fertiliser production, as a coolant for power stations or in fuel cells for cars, hydrogen is a highly versatile gas. Today, most hydrogen for industrial applications is produced using fossil fuels, above all with natural gas and coal. In an environmentally friendly energy system, however, hydrogen could play a different role: as an important storage medium and a means of balancing power distribution networks.
Excess wind and solar energy can be used to produce hydrogen through water electrolysis. This process is known as Power-to-Gas. The hydrogen can recover the energy later, for example by generating power and heat in fuel cells, blending hydrogen into the natural gas pipeline network or converted into synthesis gas.
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