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A Review of the Impact of Hydrogen Integration in Natural Gas Distribution Networks and Electric Smart Grids


Hydrogen technologies have been rapidly developing in the past few decades, pushed by governments’ road maps for sustainability and supported by a widespread need to decarbonize the global energy sector. Recent scientific progress has led to better performances and higher efficiencies of hydrogen-related technologies, so much so that their future economic viability is now rarely called into question. This article intends to study the integration of hydrogen systems in both gas and electric distribution networks. A preliminary analysis of hydrogen’s physical storage methods is given, considering both the advantages and disadvantages of each one. After examining the preeminent ways of physically storing hydrogen, this paper then contemplates two primary means of using it: integrating it in Power-to-Gas networks and utilizing it in Power-to-Power smart grids. In the former, the primary objective is the total replacement of natural gas with hydrogen through progressive blending procedures, from the transmission pipeline to the domestic burner; in the latter, the set goal is the expansion of the implementation of hydrogen systems—namely storage—in multi-microgrid networks, thus helping to decarbonize the electricity sector and reducing the impact of renewable energy’s intermittence through Demand Side Management strategies. The study concludes that hydrogen is assumed to be an energy vector that is inextricable from the necessary transition to a cleaner, more efficient, and sustainable future.

Funding source: This research was funded by Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT), grant numbers UIDB/50021/2020 and UIDB/00066/2020.
Countries: Portugal

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