Hydrogen will have to leap a significant hurdle to compete with other long-duration energy storage options as the transition to renewable electric power generation accelerates.
While the production and storage of hydrogen have the potential to store excess renewable electric power over long periods of time, the process is far less efficient than other storage technologies, according to Arjun Flora, director of energy finance studies for Europe at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, or IEEFA. This means that the costs for hydrogen production will have to fall substantially before it becomes competitive, Flora said during a June 23 panel at IEEFA’s virtual Energy Finance 2021 conference.
“The coming decade will be a development race between hydrogen and all the other long-duration technologies to see who can bring down costs and demonstrate large-scale feasibility,” Flora said.
Government and industry stakeholders have lately ramped up efforts to produce green hydrogen, a zero-carbon gas produced through the electrolysis of water powered by electricity from renewable power generation. The idea is to “store” renewable electricity as hydrogen during periods when the electricity is not needed, rather than curtailing generation.