“hydrogen As An Energy Carrier: Applications And Challenges In 2023” – The green hydrogen trend could get some help from an international cabal targeting juice business in the distributed wind sector.

The US Department of Energy is determined to spur more activity in the distributed wind energy sector, and if all goes to plan, it could mean good news for green hydrogen enthusiasts. The hydrogen angle could help small-scale wind owners squeeze more kilowatts out of their turbines, even at night when everyone is asleep. Just one problem: who needs distributed wind?

“hydrogen As An Energy Carrier: Applications And Challenges In 2023”

The green hydrogen trend could get some help from an international effort to bring the distributed wind sector out of the doldrums (image via Eurekalert).

The Safe Use Of Hydrogen As An Energy Carrier

Unpacking this a bit, let’s start with green hydrogen. For those of you new to the subject, hydrogen could be a powerful tool for global decarbonization. It burns without greenhouse gas emissions and can also be used in fuel cells to generate electricity without greenhouse gas emissions. Water is the only byproduct.

Additionally, hydrogen can serve as a long-lived transportable medium for renewable energy storage (ditto for nuclear power, although that’s a completely different ballgame).

Since there’s no such thing as a free lunch, that’s not the end of the hydrogen story. Today’s hydrogen is produced primarily from fossil gas, which throws a wrench into the vision of a sustainable hydrogen economy, let alone an entire hydrogen society.

This isn’t the end of the story yet, though. New technological breakthroughs in the field of green hydrogen are plummeting fast and furiously. Much of the focus is on the “splitting” of hydrogen from water through electrolysis, preferably using electricity generated by wind turbines or solar panels. Direct photoelectrochemical splitting of water is also present in the mixture.

Hydrogen: A Clean, Flexible Energy Carrier Infographic By Brandi Boykin At Coroflot.com

Some analysts predict that electrolysis will not be economically competitive for a while yet, but costs are falling rapidly and there is already movement afoot in niche or specialized applications. The steel industry is a niche example for green hydrogen. Maine is also exploring green hydrogen to alleviate a transmission bottleneck without squeezing the energy infrastructure budget.

That thing about niche or specialized applications for green hydrogen takes us right to the topic of distributed wind energy.

Distributed wind farms tend to be smaller in terms of generating capacity. This would coincide with the emergence of small-scale water splitting systems. The basic idea would be to convert excess wind energy into both a storable and transportable form, without relying on transmission lines.

The combination of distributed wind and small-scale hydrogen production also fits the Energy Department’s vision of a modern, secure, and resilient grid powered by distributed energy resources, along with a healthy dose of energy storage.

Safety Of Ammonia As Hydrogen And Energy Carriers

Don’t let the size fool you, though. The distributed wind sector includes small wind turbines, but is not defined by the type or size of the turbines. It’s the application that counts.

Distributed wind refers to wind turbines that supply electricity to the site where they are located, such as farms, remote industrial campuses, and rural healthcare facilities.

Distributed wind power can also supply electricity directly to nearby sites, or it can support a local distribution grid or microgrid.

The common denominator is that major new transmission lines would not be required to tap into the nation’s distributed wind potential. This is important because it is terribly difficult to get approvals for new main transmission lines these days.

Carbon Based Energy Carrier Research Team

“An analysis of behind-the-meter distributed wind potential in the United States found that distributed wind systems are technically feasible for approximately 49.5 million residential, commercial or industrial sites, or approximately 44 percent of all U.S. buildings,” says the Department of Energy.

The problem is that costs in the distributed wind sector have not followed the rapid free fall in the cost of larger, grid-connected wind farms. So, the US Department of Energy has developed a set of distributed wind initiatives to help kick-start the business.

Of particular interest is the agency’s involvement in a global distributed wind consortium, through the International Energy Agency’s IEA Wind Initiative.

Globalism! Under IEA Wind, the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory is paired with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory to tackle IEA Wind Task Number 41, titled “Enabling Wind to Contribute to a Distributed Energy Future.”

Pdf) Formic Acid As A Hydrogen Energy Carrier

The basic idea is to model the distributed wind sector on the extraordinary success of small-scale distributed solar around the world.

“In the not-too-distant past, locating a solar panel on a rooftop or powering a small healthcare center in an off-grid rural community was a rare occurrence,” NREL explained in an article published last week. “Fast forward a decade and the once rare sighting is now ubiquitous. The boom in on-site distributed solar power is powering everything from single-family homes to entire industries.”

Interesting! The Department of Energy’s community solar initiatives might also provide a model for pushing the distributed wind envelope, but we’ll let them ditch that.

Plenty of firepower is stirring the wind pot of the IEA. NREL has listed Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, Denmark, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Korea and Spain as members of the consortium, and other nations may also join the fold.

New Nanomaterial Helps Obtain Hydrogen From A Liquid Energy Carrier, In A Key Step Toward A Stable And Clean Fuel Source — Nano Magazine

As a relatively new IEA initiative, the consortium has so far focused mainly on preparing the ground for agreed methodologies and standards. Next steps include building a data catalog for information sharing and developing a detailed international research plan that updates current standards.

Things get very interesting when you consider that the consortium’s mandate includes energy storage, because just last month the Department of Energy launched two new laboratory consortia to support new hydrogen and fuel cell research. .

Don’t get too excited just yet, because this particular initiative doesn’t quite fit the spread wind area. A laboratory consortium will focus on large-scale electrolysers that can handle fossil inputs and renewable energy to produce hydrogen. The other will focus on fuel cells for heavy haulage, with the aim of developing a market-ready long-haul fuel cell truck.

On the other hand, both consortia aim to reduce costs and make the technology accessible as part of the Department of Energy’s broader H2@Scale initiative in support of hydrogen and fuel cells. The knock-on effect of the two new consortia could contribute to a rosier financial picture for small-scale green hydrogen generation, which in turn could help support the rationale for distributed wind.

Hydrogen Transportation: Three Well Known Energy Carriers Compared

To be clear, H2@Scale isn’t strictly a green initiative, because its portfolio still includes fossil gas for hydrogen production. However, the Department of Energy has begun downplaying natural gas in favor of diversification in general and renewables in particular based on resilience, reliability, safety from price volatility, and sustainability.

With the pressure for a green recovery from COVID-19 mounting by the minute, the political drift towards green hydrogen is likely to strengthen over the coming months and years. If you have any ideas about it, please drop us a note in the comment thread.

Another factor to consider is the nation’s sprawling network of rural electric cooperatives. Thanks to their unique regulatory status and public service mission, RECs have greater flexibility to innovate and implement emerging technology, including renewable energy and energy storage.

Image: “Hydrogen gas is an industrial chemical of enormous importance for the production of fuels and fertilizers and a clean molecule with a high energy content that can be used in fuel cells or to store energy generated from variable energy sources such as solar and wind” by Greg Stewart/SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory via Eurekalert.

Is Hydrogen An Energy Source Or An Energy Carrier?

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Hydrogen As Key To The Energy Transition

Tina specializes in military and corporate sustainability, advanced technology, emerging materials, biofuels, and water and wastewater issues. The opinions expressed are hers. Follow her on Twitter @TinaMCasey and Spoutible.

It’s almost as if this is an ideologically motivated witch hunt that is completely baseless. It’s almost as if Alberta hates getting good press. October 8 marks the fourth annual National Hydrogen Day, a date that hints at the atomic weight of hydrogen (1.008) and the growing role hydrogen is playing nationwide. Scientists at Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) work every day on research that makes it possible to produce, store and use hydrogen in cleaner, even more efficient and cost-effective ways.

Hydrogen fuel is considered a key component of an energy portfolio of all of the above and one of the fastest growing clean energy technologies. From zero emission fuel cell cars to clean, distributed energy

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