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Power-to-Gas: Electrolyzers as an alternative to network expansion – An example from a distribution system operator

Author

Listed:
  • Robinius, Martin
  • Raje, Tanmay
  • Nykamp, Stefan
  • Rott, Tobias
  • Müller, Martin
  • Grube, Thomas
  • Katzenbach, Burkhard
  • Küppers, Stefan
  • Stolten, Detlef

Abstract

The high share of fluctuating renewable energy sources (FRES) such as wind and photovoltaic (PV) necessitates the need for controllable generation, storage devices or adjustable consumption, due to the surplus arising from installed capacity that exceeds the conventional electrical load. The use of this surplus to produce hydrogen and oxygen via electrolysis is called “Power-to-Gas” (P2G). This study investigates the potential use of electrolyzers in the electrical distribution grid as an alternative to a network expansion with cables. For this purpose, an existing distribution grid was modelled and the possible size of an electrolyzer investigated so as to achieve the same effect as with an electrical cable in terms of, for example, the voltage level. The investment cost of both possibilities was compared and the hydrogen production costs analyzed. The results show that laying a cable is currently a more cost-effective option in comparison to an electrolyzer, costing around 30% of the overall investment required for the electrolyzer. The remaining 70% of the electrolyzer cost needs to be met by other means, for example by selling the hydrogen produced. However, profitability is highly dependent on the surplus in the grid and thus the full load hours of the electrolyzer. Furthermore, the results obtained cannot be generalized, since they are highly influenced by the scenario used.

Suggested Citation

  • Robinius, Martin & Raje, Tanmay & Nykamp, Stefan & Rott, Tobias & Müller, Martin & Grube, Thomas & Katzenbach, Burkhard & Küppers, Stefan & Stolten, Detlef, 2018. "Power-to-Gas: Electrolyzers as an alternative to network expansion – An example from a distribution system operator," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 210(C), pages 182-197.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:appene:v:210:y:2018:i:c:p:182-197
    DOI: 10.1016/j.apenergy.2017.10.117
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. Zhang, Xian & Chan, K.W. & Wang, Huaizhi & Hu, Jiefeng & Zhou, Bin & Zhang, Yan & Qiu, Jing, 2019. "Game-theoretic planning for integrated energy system with independent participants considering ancillary services of power-to-gas stations," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 176(C), pages 249-264.
    3. Bellocchi, Sara & De Falco, Marcello & Gambini, Marco & Manno, Michele & Stilo, Tommaso & Vellini, Michela, 2019. "Opportunities for power-to-Gas and Power-to-liquid in CO2-reduced energy scenarios: The Italian case," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 175(C), pages 847-861.
    4. McDonagh, Shane & Ahmed, Shorif & Desmond, Cian & Murphy, Jerry D, 2020. "Hydrogen from offshore wind: Investor perspective on the profitability of a hybrid system including for curtailment," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 265(C).
    5. Fischer, David & Kaufmann, Florian & Hollinger, Raphael & Voglstätter, Christopher, 2018. "Real live demonstration of MPC for a power-to-gas plant," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 228(C), pages 833-842.
    6. Kaya, Mehmet Fatih & Demir, Nesrin & Rees, Neil V. & El-Kharouf, Ahmad, 2020. "Improving PEM water electrolyser’s performance by magnetic field application," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 264(C).
    7. Brown, T. & Schlachtberger, D. & Kies, A. & Schramm, S. & Greiner, M., 2018. "Synergies of sector coupling and transmission reinforcement in a cost-optimised, highly renewable European energy system," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 160(C), pages 720-739.
    8. Xing, Xuetao & Lin, Jin & Song, Yonghua & Hu, Qiang & Zhou, You & Mu, Shujun, 2018. "Optimization of hydrogen yield of a high-temperature electrolysis system with coordinated temperature and feed factors at various loading conditions: A model-based study," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 232(C), pages 368-385.
    9. Lahnaoui, Amin & Wulf, Christina & Heinrichs, Heidi & Dalmazzone, Didier, 2018. "Optimizing hydrogen transportation system for mobility by minimizing the cost of transportation via compressed gas truck in North Rhine-Westphalia," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 223(C), pages 317-328.
    10. McDonagh, Shane & Deane, Paul & Rajendran, Karthik & Murphy, Jerry D., 2019. "Are electrofuels a sustainable transport fuel? Analysis of the effect of controls on carbon, curtailment, and cost of hydrogen," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 247(C), pages 716-730.
    11. Frank, Elimar & Gorre, Jachin & Ruoss, Fabian & Friedl, Markus J., 2018. "Calculation and analysis of efficiencies and annual performances of Power-to-Gas systems," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 218(C), pages 217-231.
    12. McDonagh, Shane & O'Shea, Richard & Wall, David M. & Deane, J.P. & Murphy, Jerry D., 2018. "Modelling of a power-to-gas system to predict the levelised cost of energy of an advanced renewable gaseous transport fuel," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 215(C), pages 444-456.
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    14. Pavičević, Matija & Mangipinto, Andrea & Nijs, Wouter & Lombardi, Francesco & Kavvadias, Konstantinos & Jiménez Navarro, Juan Pablo & Colombo, Emanuela & Quoilin, Sylvain, 2020. "The potential of sector coupling in future European energy systems: Soft linking between the Dispa-SET and JRC-EU-TIMES models," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 267(C).
    15. Gu, Chenghong & Tang, Can & Xiang, Yue & Xie, Da, 2019. "Power-to-gas management using robust optimisation in integrated energy systems," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 236(C), pages 681-689.
    16. Furat Dawood & GM Shafiullah & Martin Anda, 2020. "Stand-Alone Microgrid with 100% Renewable Energy: A Case Study with Hybrid Solar PV-Battery-Hydrogen," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(5), pages 1-17, March.
    17. Juangsa, Firman Bagja & Prananto, Lukman Adi & Mufrodi, Zahrul & Budiman, Arief & Oda, Takuya & Aziz, Muhammad, 2018. "Highly energy-efficient combination of dehydrogenation of methylcyclohexane and hydrogen-based power generation," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 226(C), pages 31-38.
    18. Percebois, Jacques & Pommeret, Stanislas, 2019. "Storage cost induced by a large substitution of nuclear by intermittent renewable energies: The French case," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 135(C).

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