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Hydrogen is Essential for Sustainability


Sustainable energy conversion requires zero emissions of greenhouse gases and criteria pollutants using primary energy sources that the earth naturally replenishes quickly, like renewable resources. Solar and wind power conversion technologies have become cost effective recently, but challenges remain to manage electrical grid dynamics and to meet end-use requirements for energy dense fuels and chemicals. Renewable hydrogen provides the best opportunity for a zero emissions fuel and is the best feedstock for production of zero emission liquid fuels and some chemical and heat end-uses. Renewable hydrogen can be made at very high efficiency using electrolysis systems that are dynamically operated to complement renewable wind and solar power dynamics. Hydrogen can be stored within the existing natural gas system to provide low cost massive storage capacity that (1) could be sufficient to enable a 100% zero emissions grid; (2) has sufficient energy density for end-uses including heavy duty transport; (3) is a building block for zero emissions fertilizer and chemicals; and (4) enables sustainable primary energy in all sectors of the economy.

Funding source: The authors gratefully acknowledge the National Science Foundation (NSF) under the Integrated Food Energy Water Systems (INFEWS) program (Award No. 1639318) for partial funding support of this work
Related subjects: Policy & Socio-Economics
Countries: United States

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