The Hyflexpower consortium is a group of companies and universities that are working on a research project to demonstrate the use of green hydrogen as a flexible means of storing energy that can be used to power an industrial turbine. The project is taking place at the Smurfit Kappa Saillat Paper Mill in France, and it involves the use of an electrolyzer to produce hydrogen on-site, which is then mixed with natural gas and used to fuel a gas turbine for power generation. The project is significant because it marks the implementation of the world's first industrial-scale power-to-X-to-power demonstration using an advanced turbine with high hydrogen content fuel. The consortium plans to continue testing the technology in 2023, with the goal of increasing the hydrogen ratio up to 100%. The project is funded in part by the European Commission and is part of the European Green Deal carbon neutrality and energy transition initiative.
A note on the concept from the editorial team
Power-to-hydrogen-to-power systems, also known as hydrogen-based renewable energy systems can be used to store excess renewable energy, such as solar or wind power, in the form of hydrogen, and then use that stored energy to generate electricity when needed. The techno-economic feasibility of power-to-hydrogen-to-power systems depends on a number of factors, including the availability and cost of renewable electricity, the efficiency and cost of the electrolysis process, the efficiency and cost of fuel cell technology, and the infrastructure and market for hydrogen fuel.
In general, power-to-hydrogen-to-power systems are most feasible in areas with high availability of renewable electricity and a need for energy storage solutions. The use of hydrogen as an energy storage medium can be particularly beneficial in situations where other forms of energy storage, such as batteries, are not practical or cost-effective.
However, there are still some challenges to the widespread adoption of power-to-hydrogen-to-power systems, including the high cost of electrolysis and fuel cell equipment, the limited infrastructure for distributing and storing hydrogen fuel, and the lack of standardization in the hydrogen fuel market. Overall, the techno-economic feasibility of power-to-hydrogen-to-power systems is likely to improve in the coming years as renewable energy technologies continue to advance and the infrastructure for hydrogen fuel expands. With efforts like The Hyflexpower consortium involving, techno-economic feasibility will be proven with time and support from all the stakeholders in the industry.