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HYSYDAYS<br>1st World Congress of Young Scientists on Hydrogen Energy Systems

ISBN:
1-56700-230-7 (Print)

RENEWABLE HYDROGEN: NEITHER FALLACY NOR PANACEA

Luis Correas
Foundation for the Development of New Hydrogen Technologies in Aragon

Abstract

Using renewable energy sources for hydrogen generation is only one of the possible production pathways. Furthermore, hydrogen as energy carrier is as sustainable as its primary energy source. There is not a general agreement on what will be the role of renewable energy in the forecasted hydrogen economy.
A brief overview on the different pathways helps to focus the attention on wind energy, which is the most developed renewable technology. In addition, wind energy poses some problems to the electric grid operator in high penetration cases, which could happen in the near term in some European countries. For this reason, even in the case that renewables could only cover a portion of the energy production, there is a future role to play for hydrogen together with wind energy.
Aragon, located in north-east Spain, has abundant renewable resources and a sound wind industry, with an installed capacity of more than 1200 MW. Besides, solar potential should also be taken into consideration in the mid term. The Foundation for the Development of New Hydrogen Technologies in Aragon is conceiving a demonstration and development plan to situate the region as an early adopter of CO2 neutral hydrogen. As the cornerstone of the cluster of projects, a hydrogen generation facility should provide a real-scale test bench for the various wind and solar technologists, in addition to developers of power electronics and electrolysers. Forecast for start-up is spring 2007.