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Flexible hydrogen production implementation in the French power system: Expected impacts at the French and European levels

Caumon, Pauline, Lopez-Botet Zulueta, Miguel, Louyrette, Jérémy, Albou, Sandrine, Bourasseau, Cyril, Mansilla, Christine
Energy 2015 v.81 pp. 556-562
carbon dioxide, electricity, energy, greenhouse gas emissions, hydrogen, hydrogen production, natural gas, oil refining, pipelines, renewable energy sources, wind, France
In the future, the importance of hydrogen as an energy carrier could grow. Oil refining, injecting hydrogen into pipelines to decarbonize natural gas, or using hydrogen as a fuel are some of the possible applications. Combining hydrogen with CO2 to produce valuable products could also be a way to mitigate CO2 emissions. Besides, renewable energy development (mainly photovoltaic and wind) is one means of decarbonizing the European energy system. The fluctuating characteristic of these energies is independent from the level of electricity demand and can cause imbalance in the electric system.The present study examines how adding the flexible demand of electrolyzers in France would impact the European power system while keeping hydrogen production close to economic competitiveness. Results show that only proactive scenarios with very high penetration rates of decarbonized energy in Europe enable the production of significant amounts of competitive low-carbon hydrogen (€3–5/kgH2). In this context, creating demand to power the electrolyzers mitigates almost all renewable energy curtailment in France, showing that hydrogen production can indeed help to integrate fluctuating renewable energies into the power system.