The energy transition is not something that awaits us for the next decade. On the contrary, it is a process by which we have had a lot of very deep research and it is taking place. The goal is to create a carbon-neutral society by developing renewable energy sources to replace fossil fuels. However, due to the constant nature of the renewable source, energy storage has an essential role in this transition. Hydrogen technology with its many advances has been recognized as the most promising choice. Experts of Vietnam Energy Magazine would like to share some information about this issue for readers’s reference.
Key factors of green energy society in the future:
Many applications of hydrogen have only recently been studied, so currently the development of hydrogen technology has not been deployed on a large scale. With an increasing number of studies and initiation projects, the use of this fuel's enormous ecological potential will be expected over the next few decades.
The new innovative solutions of hydrogen technology including manufacturing, storing, distributing and using it are penetrating into all industrial sectors.
Currently, studies have shown that hydrogen is the best fuel to recharge fuel batteries running cars and ships because it only emits steam and warm air without creating toxic emissions.
Today, the impacts of climate change are affecting the physical environment, ecosystems and humanity in general, concerns about the future are becoming the main global topic. Therefore, governments are implementing a new sustainability policy to promote the development of renewable energy sources as an alternative to fossil fuels. Growing progress in hydrogen technology has prompted many countries to develop a national hydrogen strategy - considering hydrogen development as a key element of the green energy society in the future.
The recent developments of hydrogen technology show its social, industrial and environmental position, as well as the period of economic transformation of both advanced and developing countries.
An example of the ongoing energy transition is Croatia , which is in the process of implementing a hydrogen strategy with the ambition of one day being able to equally participate in the rapidly growing hydrogen market.
Power systems around the world are changing. Renewable energy, mainly in the form of wind and solar energy, is being replenished everywhere, while traditional forms of energy such as coal and oil are being gradually eliminated. Natural gas electricity generates have played a leading role in facilitating energy transition by providing relatively rapid acceleration and a stable base energy source for continuous renewable energy redevetability.
However, there is a lot of research and development projects underway to eventually be able to push natural gas out of the fuel complex. The reason is that gas, like other fossil fuels, emits CO2 and other emissions into the atmosphere, although with a much lower volume than coal and fuel oil per kWh produced. One of the potential supplements, or alternatives to natural gas will be hydrogen.
The concept of a hydrogen economy is not new. It was first planned for the first time at least around the 70s of the last century, but the production of hydrogen at that time required very high costs that made its mass development practical. That is changing as countries around the world implement de-carbon reduction targets and increase the proportion of energy sources in the power generation complex.
There have been and will be situations in which the power supply of solar and wind power projects is high, but the demand for electricity is low, if the load goes far, it must be invested in the grid too expensive. Instead of cutting down on electricity production, surplus electricity can be used to produce "green hydrogen" through water electrolyzing. "Blue hydrogen" is hydrogen produced by using the power of renewable energy sources (wind, solar) to electrolyze water.
In 2019, worldwide, "Green Hydrogen" production only accounts for less than 1% of total annual hydrogen production. However, according to forecasts by Wood Mackezie - a major BRITISH energy consultancy, "green hydrogen" output will boom in the coming years. The size of the "green hydrogen" electrolyzed machines has almost tripled in 5 months (as of April 2020), to 8.2 Gigawatts. This increase was primarily driven by the deployment of large-scale electrolysing machines, with 17 projects planned with a capacity of 100 Megawatts or more. And not simply that there are many projects under development, but the average size of an electrolysed system will likely exceed 600 Megawatts by 2027.
"Hydrogen Green" seems to be of interest to everyone at the moment, with at least 10 countries looking for this gas to ensure future energy security and possible exports. The latest country to jump into the race is Portugal, which in May 2021 announced a national hydrogen strategy believed to be worth 7 billion euros ($7.7 billion) by 2030.
Today, the price of "green hydrogen" is still expensive. In a report published in 2019 (using data from 2018), the International Energy Agency (IEA) put the price of "green hydrogen" at $3 to $7.50 per kilogram, compared to $0.90 to $3.20 for a kilogram of methane. Cutting the cost of electrolyses will be crucial to reducing the price of "green hydrogen." The IEA also said the cost of electrolytes could be halved by 2040, from about $840 per kilowatt today.
Producing "green hydrogen" requires a huge amount of electricity of low-cost renewable energy projects because of the large amount of electricity consumed during electrolyzation. The efficiency of electrolyses is between 60% and 80%. The performance challenge is exacerbated by the fact that many applications may require "green hydrogen" to power fuel cells, resulting in further losses.
Hydrogen produced, if not used on the spot, will be transferred to the place of consumption as gas, or converted into ammonia gas according to the pipeline network, or transported by truck in the form of liquid hydrogen (at temperature - 2530C), or hydrogen is converted into liquid ammonia.
Based on hydrogen distance and volume, shipping costs can vary greatly. The newly constructed pipeline system (it should be noted that hydrogen is flammable and explosive so the alloy used as a pipe and the implementation of welds that need to be taken with great care to ensure a safe, reliable operating system) is said to be the cheapest solution for transporting hydrogen per transport unit.
Hydrogen can be stored in a variety of ways, depending on its state (gaseous, liquid, or solid). For example, hydrogen can be stored in storages in rock caves, or pressure tanks. There are also storage options using intermediate hydrogen carrying substances. Depending on the time and volume of hydrogen storage, storage costs can vary greatly.
Hydrogen in vietnam's energy transition trend:
As analyzed, the growing progress in hydrogen technology has prompted many countries to develop a national hydrogen strategy - considering hydrogen development as a "key element of green energy society" in the future, so Vietnam should not be an exception and it is time (along with other clean energy sources) this green fuel should be named in the "green energy strategy". countries".
As we all know, in Vietnam, the development of wind and solar power sources in areas with great potential has encountered problems of transmission circuit congestion in the short term and the problem of transmission away is certainly very expensive. Our offshore wind power potential is greatly evaluated, but the problem of transporting electricity to shore, as well as to load centers located far from these sources will also face the above challenge.
Therefore, recently some investors have had the idea of developing offshore wind power projects to produce hydrogen and transport it to shore for industrial, transportation, etc. needs. This orientation should be encouraged and encouraged by the Government so that Vietnam can soon participate in the trend of energy transition with this "green hydrogen" source.
Dr. NGUYEN MANH HIEN - SCIENCE COUNCIL OF VIETNAM ENERGY MAGAZINE
1/ Hydrogen and the Energy Transition (Power Magazine).
2/ Hydrogen in Energy Transition (ScienceDirect).
Source: Vietnam Energy Magazine (Tạp chí Năng Lượng)