Hydrogen Production from Surplus Electricity Generated by an Autonomous Renewable System: Scenario 2040 on Grand Canary Island, Spain


The electrification of final energy uses is a key strategy to reach the desired scenario with zero greenhouse gas emissions. Many of them can be electrified with more or less difficulty, but there is a part that is difficult to electrify at a competitive cost: heavy road transport, maritime and air transport, and some industrial processes are some examples. For this reason, the possibility of using other energy vectors rather than electricity should be explored. Hydrogen can be considered a real alternative, especially considering that this transition should not be carried out immediately because, initially, the electrification would be carried out in those energy uses that are considered most feasible for this conversion. The Canary Islands’ government is making considerable efforts to promote a carbon-free energy mix, starting with renewable energy for electricity generation. Still, in the early–mid 2030s, it will be necessary to substitute heavy transport fossil fuel. For this purpose, HOMER software was used to analyze the feasibility of hydrogen production using surplus electricity produced by the future electricity system. The results of previous research on the optimal generation MIX for Grand Canary Island, based exclusively on renewable sources, were used. This previous research considers three possible scenarios where electricity surplus is in the range of 2.3–4.9 TWh/year. Several optimized scenarios using demand-side management techniques were also studied. Therefore, based on the electricity surpluses of these scenarios, the optimization of hydrogen production and storage systems was carried out, always covering at least the final hydrogen demand of the island. As a result, it is concluded that it would be possible to produce 3.5 × 104 to 7.68 × 104 t of H2/year. In these scenarios, 3.15 × 105 to 6.91 × 105 t of water per year would be required, and there could be a potential production of 2.8 × 105 to 6.14 × 105 t of O2 per year.

Funding source: This study has been in part supported by the “Cátedra de Transición Energética Urbana, Universitat Politècnica de València”.
Related subjects: Production & Supply Chain
Countries: Spain

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