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Hydrogen Energy Systems: A Critical Review of Technologies, Applications, Trends and Challenges


The global energy transition towards a carbon neutral society requires a profound transformation of electricity generation and consumption, as well as of electric power systems. Hydrogen has an important potential to accelerate the process of scaling up clean and renewable energy, however its integration in power systems remains little studied. This paper reviews the current progress and outlook of hydrogen technologies and their application in power systems for hydrogen production, re-electrification and storage. The characteristics of electrolysers and fuel cells are demonstrated with experimental data and the deployments of hydrogen for energy storage, power-to-gas, co- and tri-generation and transportation are investigated using examples from worldwide projects. The current techno-economic status of these technologies and applications is presented, in which cost, efficiency and durability are identified as the main critical aspects. This is also confirmed by the results of a statistical analysis of the literature. Finally, conclusions show that continuous efforts on performance improvements, scale ramp-up, technical prospects and political support are required to enable a cost-competitive hydrogen economy.

Funding source: Fuel Cells and Hydrogen 2 Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program [grant number 779469]; AANR under the RECIF project [grant number ANR-18-CE05-0043]; the EIPHI Graduate School, France [contract ANR-17-EURE-0002]; the Region Bourgogne Franche-Comté, France .
Related subjects: Applications & Pathways
Countries: France

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