Market Research Report
Distributed Hydrogen Systems Drive Clean Energy Microgrids
|Distributed Hydrogen Systems Drive Clean Energy Microgrids|
Published: March 15, 2021
Guidehouse Insights (formerly Navigant Research)
Content info: 23 Pages; 4 Tables, Charts & Figures
Delivery time: 1-2 business days
Declining costs and increased adoption of hydrogen technologies such as fuel cells, electrolyzers, and fuel cell vehicles have provided a platform for infrastructure development discussions. As electricity accounts for 70% of hydrogen production costs via electrolysis, the steep decline in solar PV and wind costs is enabling an emerging green hydrogen economy. The conversation has shifted from whether hydrogen will play a role in decarbonization to how and when hydrogen will play a role. As hydrogen demand continues to be driven by policy, decarbonization goals, greater renewables integration, and decreasing renewable electricity costs, the demand for the necessary infrastructure will likely naturally follow.
Microgrids offer unique applications for distributed hydrogen but face barriers. Most microgrids are retrofits incorporating both fossil and renewable generation technologies and fuels. Increasingly, new microgrids also integrate some forms of energy storage (typically different kinds of batteries) while incorporating load management and EVs as a grid resource. This dynamic shapes future development strategies because microgrids lend themselves to incremental upgrades.
This Guidehouse Insights report focuses on distributed systems. As of early 2021, more attention has been placed on large scale infrastructure in the industrial sector-plays that match the level of scale of offshore wind in Europe. Bigger is better for these scenarios to make economic sense. For microgrids-self-sustaining networks of distributed energy resources (DER) that can operate autonomously as a single controllable entity-such endeavors bear little in common with near-term opportunities. The majority of microgrids deploying distributed hydrogen systems as of early 2021 have been remote microgrids developed in locations where there is no traditional grid, let alone pipeline infrastructure for natural gas that could be repurposed for hydrogen. Hydrogen was the key enabling technology to reach 100% renewable energy for most of the case studies presented in this report.