Future energy systems will be determined by the increasing relevance of solar and wind energy. Crude oil and gas prices are expected to increase in the long run, and penalties for CO 2 emissions will become a relevant economic factor. Solar- and wind-powered electricity will become significantly cheaper, such that hydrogen produced from electrolysis will be competitively priced against hydrogen manufactured from natural gas. However, to handle the unsteadiness of system input from fluctuating energy sources, energy storage technologies that cover the full scale of power (in megawatts) and energy storage amounts (in megawatt hours) are required. Hydrogen, in particular, is a promising secondary energy vector for storing, transporting, and distributing large and very large amounts of energy at the gigawatt-hour and terawatt-hour scales. However, we also discuss energy storage at the 120–200-kWh scale, for example, for onboard hydrogen storage in fuel cell vehicles using compressed hydrogen storage. This article focuses on the characteristics and development potential of hydrogen storage technologies in light of such a changing energy system and its related challenges. Technological factors that influence the dynamics, flexibility, and operating costs of unsteady operation are therefore highlighted in particular. Moreover, the potential for using renewable hydrogen in the mobility sector, industrial production, and the heat market is discussed, as this potential may determine to a significant extent the future economic value of hydrogen storage technology as it applies to other industries. This evaluation elucidates known and well-established options for hydrogen storage and may guide the development and direction of newer, less developed technologies.
Annual Review of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering – Annual Reviews
Published: Jun 7, 2017