Power-to-X/green hydrogen technologies make it possible to store solar power in a variety of forms. As the energy system transitions to renewables, they are becoming an essential complement to battery systems. Not only does Power-to-X/green hydrogen supply carbon-neutral fuel for buildings, industry, power plants and vehicles, it also enables long-term storage of energy, for example by producing green hydrogen (Power-to-Gas).
But Power-to-X/green hydrogen systems are only environmentally friendly if they rely on renewable power. For example, electrolysis can use excess solar or wind energy to break down water into oxygen and hydrogen. The hydrogen can then be used as fuel, stored or processed to produce methane. The advantage: The gases can be distributed and stored using the existing infrastructure and also help reduce CO2 emissions.
According to Aurora Energy Research, power-to-X/green hydrogen has great potential for certain industrial activities such as steel production and segments of the chemical industry, as well as segments of the heating market and the transportation sector (heavy goods vehicles, trains, airplanes). Energy market experts are expecting the demand for hydrogen in Europe to grow by a factor of eight, or an additional 2,500 terawatthours by the year 2050. This corresponds to a sales volume of more than 120 billion euros.
In July 2020, the European Commission presented its hydrogen strategy, which provides for the addition of 40 gigawatts of electrolyzer capacity by 2030. Member states such as Germany, the Netherlands, France, Spain and Portugal have also defined national hydrogen strategies.
For an example of Power-to-X/green hydrogen in action, look no further than the SmartQuart project in the municipality of Kaisersesch in Rhineland-Palatinate. With funding from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, project partners are building a sustainable hydrogen infrastructure, which includes a hydrogen-based microgrid. Nearby photovoltaic and wind power installations supply the energy needed for hydrogen production and new LOHC technology enables the transport or long-term storage of partial quantities of the hydrogen produced. A system of pipes transports the hydrogen to end users.
As a key component of the complete transition from fossil fuels to renewable energies, Power-to-X/green hydrogen technologies are in the spotlight at ees Europe, from July 21–23, 2021, for the third time in a row. Numerous themed joint booths, exhibition forums and the accompanying ees Europe Conference offer visitors the opportunity to learn more from July 20–21.