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Technoeconomic Analysis for Green Hydrogen in Terms of Production, Compression, Transportation and Storage Considering the Australian Perspective


This current article discusses the technoeconomics (TE) of hydrogen generation, transportation, compression and storage in the Australian context. The TE analysis is important and a prerequisite for investment decisions. This study selected the Australian context due to its huge potential in green hydrogen, but the modelling is applicable to other parts of the world, adjusting the price of electricity and other utilities. The hydrogen generation using the most mature alkaline electrolysis (AEL) technique was selected in the current study. The results show that increasing temperature from 50 to 90 ◦C and decreasing pressure from 13 to 5 bar help improve electrolyser performance, though pressure has a minor effect. The selected range for performance parameters was based on the fundamental behaviour of water electrolysers supported with literature. The levelised cost of hydrogen (LCH2 ) was calculated for generation, compression, transportation and storage. However, the majority of the LCH2 was for generation, which was calculated based on CAPEX, OPEX, capital recovery factor, hydrogen production rate and capacity factor. The LCH2 in 2023 was calculated to be 9.6 USD/kgH2 using a base-case solar electricity price of 65–38 USD/MWh. This LCH2 is expected to decrease to 6.5 and 3.4 USD/kgH2 by 2030 and 2040, respectively. The current LCH2 using wind energy was calculated to be 1.9 USD/kgH2 lower than that of solar-based electricity. The LCH2 using standalone wind electricity was calculated to be USD 5.3 and USD 2.9 in 2030 and 2040, respectively. The LCH2 predicted using a solar and wind mix (SWM) was estimated to be USD 3.2 compared to USD 9.6 and USD 7.7 using standalone solar and wind. The LCH2 under the best case was predicted to be USD 3.9 and USD 2.1 compared to USD 6.5 and USD 3.4 under base-case solar PV in 2030 and 2040, respectively. The best case SWM offers 33% lower LCH2 in 2023, which leads to 37%, 39% and 42% lower LCH2 in 2030, 2040 and 2050, respectively. The current results are overpredicted, especially compared with CSIRO, Australia, due to the higher assumption of the renewable electricity price. Currently, over two-thirds of the cost for the LCH2 is due to the price of electricity (i.e., wind and solar). Modelling suggests an overall reduction in the capital cost of AEL plants by about 50% in the 2030s. Due to the lower capacity factor (effective energy generation over maximum output) of renewable energy, especially for solar plants, a combined wind- and solar-based electrolysis plant was recommended, which can increase the capacity factor by at least 33%. Results also suggest that besides generation, at least an additional 1.5 USD/kgH2 for compression, transportation and storage is required.

Funding source: This research was funded by Victorian Hydrogen Hub (VH2), Swinburne University of Technology, Australia.
Related subjects: Policy & Socio-Economics
Countries: Australia

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