The penetration of intermittent renewable electricity based on solar and wind energy increases the need to match supply and demand for power. Electrolysis is a means to convert excess electricity into hydrogen that can be stored and re-electrified at a later time, or used for other energy consuming or industrial processes. As a flexible load the electrolyser can also offer grid balancing services provided that it is of sufficient capacity and responsiveness to participate in the power industry’s balancing markets.
This topic aims to demonstrate services that electrolysis can provide to the grid operator and electrolyser operation in relation to the power market price. Electrolysers need to be developed so that they are suitable for participating in grid balancing markets. For example, innovation is required to develop PEM electrolysers of much greater capacity (by approximately one order of magnitude) than the largest versions in use today. When market prices are low, extra hydrogen can be economically produced. In addition, income can be earned by electrolyser operators for providing grid services, while selling the hydrogen (and potentially oxygen) produced on the market.
The challenges are:
Recent years of R&D have significantly improved the production ramp up and down flexibility of electrolysis technology and improved the scalability from kW to MW size. What is still lacking is large scale infield demonstration at sites where both multiple grid services are required and where hydrogen can be distributed and offered for high value markets, such as e.g. industrial gases, transport fuel and power-to-gas. Only such applications can provide both the scale for providing grid balancing and reaching cost levels where additional revenue can be generated from hydrogen distribution and sales.Scope:
This Innovation Action seeks proposals which demonstrate improved electrolyser technologies beyond actual state-of-the-art receiving revenue by providing grid balancing services and demand management, whilst distributing and receiving revenues from hydrogen (and potentially oxygen) for high value markets.
The objective of the project is to deploy and monitor improved electrolyser systems configured to attract revenues from grid services and leveraging timely power price opportunities, in addition to providing hydrogen (and potentially oxygen) for high value markets.
The scope of the project is:
The proposal will indicate the operating scenarios, the duration of production, the quantities of hydrogen produced and the use foreseen. Consortia will preferably build upon outcome from previous projects funded by the FCH-JU and on already feasible business cases, so that potential customers (transport use, industry or utility) do not discontinue the use of the installation after project end, but on the contrary support continued market roll-out efforts. The proposal must include an initial plan for use of the installation after the project.
TRL is expected to go from 6 (technology demonstrated in relevant environment) or 7 (system prototype demonstration in operational environment) to 8 (system complete and qualified).
Eligible consortia will analyse and compare the value chains for the business cases considered, such as for instance electrolyser and hydrogen technology developers, electricity grid operators, gas companies, HRS network operators, industrial hydrogen customers, utilities and energy companies. Specifically, the partnership must include strong links to:
To be eligible for participation a consortium must contain at least one constituent entity of the Industry or Research Grouping.
The maximum FCH 2 JU contribution for this topic is EUR 16 million. This funding is to be allocated to 2 projects:
The funding includes the additional activities suggested under the scope of the topic. The capacity of the electrolyser should be linked to the budget via the cost KPIs in the MAWP but also reflect the specific tailoring costs for ensuring electrolysis is compatible with the grid services requirements. The grid connection costs and the electricity costs for the test phase are eligible for the funding. On the contrary, electricity costs during business operation are not eligible.
Expected duration: 4-5 years
*Water Electrolysis in the European Union (2014) (http://www.fch.europa.eu/node/783, reference: page 11-13)Expected Impact:
The proposal is expected to demonstrate in an operational environment improved electrolysis technology configured to attract revenues from grid services and/or power price opportunities in addition to providing hydrogen for high value markets.
The consortium will ensure that actions are included in the project in order to generate learning and reach KPI and commercial targets, such as:
Public-facing versions of these ‘lessons learnt’ reports should be prepared and disseminated across Europe and potentially wider.