The Danish electricity transmission system operator Energinet.dk has reported that on average, wind power supplied 1/3rd of the energy demand for the country in 2013. At times during the year Denmark’s wind energy production exceeded the national demand, peaking on 1st December between 04:00 and 05:00 at 135.8% of demand. The real time breakdown of Danish power production can be seen by clicking the image below.
Hydrogen – Fuel Vector for the Future?
With an increase in deployment of intermittent renewables such as wind there is also an increasing likelihood that there will be times where generation exceeds demand. This means that energy storage becomes more important as a means to balance the grid, and crucially to make use of those extra GW h of electricity otherwise lost. Conventional storage mechanisms like batteries have several drawbacks such as large capital cost, losses due to self-discharge, end of life pollution, etc. and don’t currently scale well for grid storage. One of the solutions is to use hydrogen as an energy vector for renewable energy storage. Excess electricity can be converted to hydrogen, typically via electrolysis and stored, before being converted back to electricity via a fuel cell, or used directly as a vehicle fuel.
At the University of South Wales Baglan Hydrogen Centre, we investigate renewable hydrogen generation via water electrolysis. Our research includes renewable power generation, renewable hydrogen system interface, operation of electrolysers and fuel cells and overall system integration, control and optimisation.
Senior Lecturer in Renewable Energy
Sustainable Environment Research Centre
University of South Wales