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The role of hydrogen in high wind energy penetration electricity systems: The Irish case


  • González, A.
  • McKeogh, E.
  • Gallachóir, B.Ó.


The deployment of wind energy is constrained by wind uncontrollability, which poses operational problems on the electricity supply system at high penetration levels, lessening the value of wind-generated electricity to a significant extent. This paper studies the viability of hydrogen production via electrolysis using wind power that cannot be easily accommodated on the system. The potential benefits of hydrogen and its role in enabling a large penetration of wind energy are assessed, within the context of the enormous wind energy resource in Ireland. The exploitation of this wind resource may in the future give rise to significant amounts of surplus wind electricity, which could be used to produce hydrogen, the zero-emissions fuel that many experts believe will eventually replace fossil fuels in the transport sector. In this paper the operation of a wind powered hydrogen production system is simulated and optimised. The results reveal that, even allowing for significant cost-reductions in electrolyser and associated balance-of-plant equipment, low average surplus wind electricity cost and a high hydrogen market price are also necessary to achieve the economic viability of the technology. These conditions would facilitate the installation of electrolysis units of sufficient capacity to allow an appreciable increase in installed wind power in Ireland. The simulation model was also used to determine the CO2 abatement potential associated with the wind energy/hydrogen production.

Suggested Citation

  • González, A. & McKeogh, E. & Gallachóir, B.Ó., 2004. "The role of hydrogen in high wind energy penetration electricity systems: The Irish case," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 471-489.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:renene:v:29:y:2004:i:4:p:471-489
    DOI: 10.1016/j.renene.2003.07.006

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    Cited by:

    1. Schenk, Niels J. & Moll, Henri C. & Potting, José & Benders, René M.J., 2007. "Wind energy, electricity, and hydrogen in the Netherlands," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 32(10), pages 1960-1971.
    2. Ghavidel, Sahand & Aghaei, Jamshid & Muttaqi, Kashem M. & Heidari, Alireza, 2016. "Renewable energy management in a remote area using Modified Gravitational Search Algorithm," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 391-399.
    3. Hosseini, Seyed Ehsan & Wahid, Mazlan Abdul, 2016. "Hydrogen production from renewable and sustainable energy resources: Promising green energy carrier for clean development," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 850-866.
    4. Tielens, Pieter & Van Hertem, Dirk, 2016. "The relevance of inertia in power systems," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 999-1009.
    5. Lund, Peter D. & Lindgren, Juuso & Mikkola, Jani & Salpakari, Jyri, 2015. "Review of energy system flexibility measures to enable high levels of variable renewable electricity," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 785-807.
    6. Harijan, Khanji & Uqaili, Mohammad A. & Memon, Mujeebuddin & Mirza, Umar K., 2011. "Forecasting the diffusion of wind power in Pakistan," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 36(10), pages 6068-6073.
    7. Vo, Truc T.Q. & Xia, Ao & Wall, David M. & Murphy, Jerry D., 2017. "Use of surplus wind electricity in Ireland to produce compressed renewable gaseous transport fuel through biological power to gas systems," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 495-504.
    8. Weisser, Daniel & Garcia, Raquel S., 2005. "Instantaneous wind energy penetration in isolated electricity grids: concepts and review," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 30(8), pages 1299-1308.
    9. Tiejiang Yuan & Jinjun Wang & Yuhang Guan & Zheng Liu & Xinfu Song & Yong Che & Wenping Cao, 2018. "Virtual Inertia Adaptive Control of a Doubly Fed Induction Generator (DFIG) Wind Power System with Hydrogen Energy Storage," Energies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(4), pages 1-1, April.
    10. Rahil, Abdulla & Gammon, Rupert & Brown, Neil, 2018. "Flexible operation of electrolyser at the garage forecourt to support grid balancing and exploitation of hydrogen as a clean fuel," Research in Transportation Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 125-138.
    11. Abdulla Rahil & Rupert Gammon, 2017. "Dispatchable Hydrogen Production at the Forecourt for Electricity Demand Shaping," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(10), pages 1-1, October.
    12. Apostolou, Dimitrios, 2020. "Optimisation of a hydrogen production – storage – re-powering system participating in electricity and transportation markets. A case study for Denmark," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 265(C).
    13. Apostolou, Dimitrios & Enevoldsen, Peter, 2019. "The past, present and potential of hydrogen as a multifunctional storage application for wind power," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 112(C), pages 917-929.
    14. Garcia, Raquel S. & Weisser, Daniel, 2006. "A wind–diesel system with hydrogen storage: Joint optimisation of design and dispatch," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 31(14), pages 2296-2320.

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    Wind energy; High penetration; Hydrogen;


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