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Green hydrogen will affirm reliable and affordable electricity

January 3, 2023 10:58 am

Green hydrogen will affirm reliable and affordable electricity

This article elaborates on the multiple uses of green hydrogen and its upcoming plans with awareness strategies.
Hydrogen represents a vital part of the energy mix on the global path towards carbon neutrality. This emergent fuel is a leading contender to be a sustainable, seasonal energy storage solution. It could be used to balance the short-term intermittency of wind and solar and easily transported using the modified natural gas infrastructure.
However, the green hydrogen value chain is set to be more complicated than any current energy-carrying vector. It will be larger, more complex, and involve more people. Therefore, optimising green hydrogen production will rely on visibility across the value chain.
 The multiple uses of hydrogen
The concept of hydrogen energy storage is based on the ability to use excess renewable electricity to run the hydrogen production process. Hydrogen can be safely stored in underground caverns and eventually re-electrified when needed. The stored hydrogen can produce electricity from a fuel cell or flow into a specially designed turbine.
Projects in the 100 MW range have already been installed in the UAE, Australia, and China. The largest project is being developed in Utah, US, and aims to store enough hydrogen in salt caverns to produce up to 1,000 MW of electricity.
But while the utility industry understands the potential for green hydrogen in power generation, it is only starting to embrace hydrogen’s wider uses, and the role utilities could play in an expanded value chain.
As green hydrogen matures, utilities are well positioned to own hydrogen production facilities, transport hydrogen in existing natural gas pipelines, build new hydrogen infrastructure, or own hydrogen-fired generation assets. Other opportunities exist to supply hydrogen for making heating, a blend of hydrogen and methane, or for combined heat and power plants.
According to a recent AVEVA survey of 112 utilities, nearly half of respondents agree that green hydrogen is a “significant revenue opportunity.” Still, only 19 percent have a clearly defined strategy for the upcoming fuel.
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Strategic planning

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End-to-end awareness
Owing to the complexities of the future hydrogen ecosystem, modern technologies capable of leveraging real-time data and analytics will be fundamental to optimising the overall process. End-to-end situational awareness of the green hydrogen value chain will enable stakeholders to make insights-driven business decisions.
Situational awareness relies on a robust data infrastructure that manages many data types, including market-related, critical operational support, asset management, predictive maintenance, long-term planning, and business process optimisation.
The industry is at the beginning of its learning journey. Still, there is a risk that its focus will be mainly on developing electrolysis proofs of concept or modifying natural gas delivery systems to transport hydrogen.
These innovative ambitions should be similarly matched with the development of common information infrastructure and analytics. The future viability of the green hydrogen economy relies on optimised data flow across all stakeholders.

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