Hydrogen-based microgrids have more potential

With resilience of the economy in the spotlight post-covid, the new figures lend support to clean energy systems of the future. Diesel’s reputation of being cheaper no longer stands.

Hydrogen Renewable Energy Power Microgrids

In the recent past, the award-winning manufacturer of highly efficient, modular hydrogen generators, Enapter has published a very interesting report, which states that 100% renewable microgrids are more resilient and economic than diesel supported ones. The company has been researching the feasibility of using hydrogen within microgrids in a bid to replace fossil fuels with carbon free alternatives.

According to Enapter’s latest briefing, diesel generators can be replaced with green hydrogen in both existing and future built microgrids. Instead of curtailing and effectively wasting excess solar and wind, the valuable resource can be turned into green hydrogen to achieve seasonal storage needs in a 100% renewable microgrid setup.

While hydrogen microgrids have conspicuous environmental advantages, there has been a question mark over their economics. The new statistics indicates that the cost of operation, fuel and logistics is what makes diesel expensive. Meanwhile, prices of hydrogen and equipment are dropping and will continue to do so, further strengthening the economics. Looking at both current and average 2019 oil prices, the numbers confirm that using hydrogen for energy storage is cheaper than diesel when excess renewable energy can be used.

Visait Hansaward, the Managing Director of Blue Solar Co. Ltd is co-developing the first green hydrogen powered microgrid on Koh Jik island in Thailand. Hansaward said, ‘‘Seeing the economics work out positively and can enable the transition to a completely carbon free setup on Koh Jik. Breaking the cost barrier associated with hydrogen is what we needed to replace diesel and fulfil a 100% green solution.” He is convinced that it could act as a blueprint for similar projects in other countries.

The German Energy Agency (Dena) has been a longtime advocate of green hydrogen, not just in Germany but internationally. Dena CEO Andreas Kuhlmann believes that the findings are a breakthrough, insisting that “breaking diesel economics in off-grid settings is a big thing. The effects will extend far beyond the island, paving the way for green hydrogen to be deployed both on and off-grid.“

With hydrogen being a core focus of post-covid stimulus packages, such findings coming to light are set to pave the way even more for zero emissions power. As well as being ecological, hydrogen microgrids are efficient, resilient and economic. Infrastructure and pricing are no longer barriers.


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