GREEN HYDROGEN HUB
To produce hydrogen, energy sources are necessary, which is why we propose collaboration in providing access to emission-free energy that ensures the classification of hydrogen as “green.” We are engaged in several projects aimed at building the entire value chain of green hydrogen
Hydrogen is the simplest chemical element in the periodic table. It has the symbol H and an atomic number of 1, indicating it has only one proton in its atomic nucleus. It is also the lightest of all chemical elements. Hydrogen exists as a gas at standard temperature and pressure (0°C and 1 atm) and is the only element that is a gas under normal atmospheric conditions. It is about 14 times lighter than air and has very low density.
Hydrogen is highly chemically reactive, forming numerous chemical compounds, including water (H2O) in reaction with oxygen, and organic compounds in reactions with other elements and compounds. Hydrogen has versatile applications and is considered a high-energy fuel (33 kWh/kg), making it a strong competitor to battery technologies. In direct comparison with batteries, where energy density ranges around 250-260 Wh/kg, hydrogen has approximately 125 times higher energy density per kilogram
The introduction of hydrogen technologies can contribute to reducing carbon emissions. Countries worldwide are making continuous efforts to find new alternatives for developing climate-neutral technologies. The European Union has set a goal to achieve total climate neutrality by 2050, capturing and storing the same amount of greenhouse gas emissions released into the atmosphere. This goal is seen as achievable, given the rapid development of technologies in today’s world.
Hydrogen finds applications in transportation, industry, and energy. It is an energy carrier that can store a large amount of energy (33 kWh/kg). In situations where battery technologies fall short, such as covering long-term electricity shortages in the grid system, hydrogen serves as an ideal alternative. Hydrogen stored in this way, either in storage tanks or in the gas system, can be converted back into electrical energy using fuel cell technology.
Hydrogen is becoming an optimistic solution to the challenges posed by the “New Green Deal” and the increasing aspirations to use only green energy, eliminating fossil fuels entirely. Hydrogen can play a significant role in the new energy policy as a green and sustainable energy source, contributing to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, diversification of energy sources, and the development of modern technologies.
Here are a few aspects where hydrogen can be considered in the new energy policy:
- Hydrogen Fuel: Hydrogen can be used as hydrogen fuel in fuel cells that generate electrical energy through the electrochemical oxidation of hydrogen. Fuel cells are efficient, produce only clean water as a byproduct, and are environmentally friendly. The deployment of hydrogen vehicles and infrastructure for hydrogen production and distribution can help reduce CO2 emissions in transportation.
- Energy Storage: Hydrogen can serve as an energy carrier, enabling the storage of excess electricity from renewable sources like solar and wind. Hydrogen can be produced during periods of surplus energy and later used to generate electricity during periods of scarcity, contributing to the sustainable use of renewable energy sources.
- Decarbonization of Industry: Hydrogen can be used in industrial processes, such as steel and ammonia production, to replace conventional hydrogen sources based on fossil fuels. This “green” hydrogen can help reduce CO2 emissions from the industrial sector.
- Public Transport: Hydrogen can be used in public transportation, including hydrogen buses, trains, and taxis. Promoting the development and implementation of these vehicles can contribute to emission reduction in the transportation sector.
- Research and Development: Investments in research and development related to hydrogen are crucial for developing new technologies for hydrogen production, storage, and utilization. The new energy policy can support research projects and innovations related to hydrogen.
Hydrogen is potentially an excellent energy storage solution (Power to Gas) for unstable renewable energy sources. Surpluses of renewable energy can be used to produce hydrogen, typically through the electrolysis process. Hydrogen can then be stored and transported for later energy use (electricity production during peak demand or periods of weather-related reduced wind turbine production).
Hydrogen is an “elegant” energy producer in a closed economy – production in fuel cells or hydrogen turbines (equivalents of current gas turbines) has virtually no byproducts (we produce water). It becomes an ideal concept for energy and especially district heating.
Hydrogen can be used in various sectors, including energy, industry, and transportation. Its use also conceptually or in pilot solutions leads to clean industrial applications (including the steel industry and coke elimination) and clean transportation (cars, railways, ships). The energy sector is interconnected with industry, and hydrogen on one slide becomes the driving force of the entire economy.
Low-emission hydrogen will be useful in a world with low carbon dioxide emissions, serving as an energy carrier and, when end-use applications are too difficult or expensive to electrify, hydrogen plays a key role in modeled scenarios for a zero-emission future.
Countries are planning paths to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions based on clean hydrogen, leading to increasing global interest and investment. Regional innovation clusters, which typically include universities, laboratories, research parks, incubators, and production centers, have long supported economic growth, job creation, and competitiveness. Concentrating innovation geographically, even in a shared center or research park, can facilitate collaboration and information exchange among scientists, engineers, and companies. With appropriate incentives, coordinating their research efforts to share expensive equipment and provide complementary resources is possible.
A hydrogen hub plays a crucial role as the main recipient and distributor of green hydrogen. It utilizes renewable electrical energy from the grid to produce hydrogen through electrolysis and then stores this hydrogen in high-pressure tanks. There are several functions that such a hydrogen storage facility can fulfill:
- Electrolyzer Matching: The electrolyzer can be adjusted based on average demand, not just peak periods. This means that hydrogen production can be optimized according to current demand, contributing to more efficient infrastructure utilization.
- Separation of Production and Usage: Hydrogen storage allows for the separation of production from usage. The electrolyzer can utilize the cheapest renewable electrical energy available, even if it does not coincide with peak demand.
- Backup Resource: Stored hydrogen can be used as a backup resource in case of power supply interruptions. This provides assurance of access to hydrogen even in the event of disruptions in energy supply.
In addition to meeting the basic needs of the primary user, a hydrogen hub can supply hydrogen to nearby, smaller users, generating additional profits.
Within a hydrogen hub, the infrastructure includes facilities for hydrogen production (electrolyzers), logistics infrastructure, and distribution infrastructure.
The hub consists of:
- Hydrogen Production Facility (Electrolyzers): Electrolyzers convert supplied renewable electrical energy into hydrogen through the electrolysis process. The size and efficiency of these installations are adjusted to the needs of the hub.
- Logistics Infrastructure: It includes various systems and devices that ensure the transport of hydrogen from the production site to storage and further to distribution points. This may involve pipelines, tankers, or other means of transportation.
- Distribution Infrastructure: This is a network of pipelines, terminals, and distribution stations that deliver hydrogen to various users, both large and small.
The effectiveness of a hydrogen hub requires the optimization of electrolyzers, storage systems, and adaptation to the most economically advantageous use of hydrogen. Ultimately, green hydrogen hubs have the potential to play a key role in green energy-based economic development and contribute to a sustainable and efficient energy system.