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Reference Number EP/L018284/1
Title Hydrogen's value in the energy system (HYVE)
Status Completed
Energy Categories HYDROGEN and FUEL CELLS(Hydrogen, Other infrastructure and systems R&D) 80%;
HYDROGEN and FUEL CELLS(Hydrogen, Hydrogen end uses (incl. combustion; excl. fuel cells)) 20%;
Research Types Basic and strategic applied research 100%
Science and Technology Fields SOCIAL SCIENCES (Economics and Econometrics) 35%;
ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY (General Engineering and Mineral & Mining Engineering) 30%;
ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY (Chemical Engineering) 35%;
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Systems Analysis related to energy R&D (Energy modelling) 50%;
Systems Analysis related to energy R&D (Other Systems Analysis) 50%;
Principal Investigator Professor P (Paul ) Ekins
No email address given
UCL Energy Institute
University College London
Award Type Standard
Funding Source EPSRC
Start Date 01 June 2014
End Date 30 November 2017
Duration 42 months
Total Grant Value £700,396
Industrial Sectors Energy
Region London
Programme Energy : Energy
Investigators Principal Investigator Professor P (Paul ) Ekins , UCL Energy Institute, University College London (99.996%)
  Other Investigator Dr PJ Coker , Construction Management and Engineering, University of Reading (0.001%)
Professor GP Harrison , Energy Systems, University of Edinburgh (0.001%)
Dr L Papageorgiou , Chemical Engineering, University College London (0.001%)
Mr P Agnolucci , UCL Energy Institute, University College London (0.001%)
  Industrial Collaborator Project Contact , Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. (0.000%)
Project Contact , Scottish and Southern Energy plc (0.000%)
Project Contact , Department of Energy & Climate Change (0.000%)
Project Contact , E4Tech Ltd (0.000%)
Project Contact , SGN (0.000%)
Project Contact , Scottish Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association (SHFCA) (0.000%)
Project Contact , London Hydrogen Partnership (0.000%)
Web Site
Abstract This project will assess the potential value of hydrogen to the UK as part of a transition to a low carbon economy. It will assess the potential demand for and value of hydrogen in different markets across the energy system and will analyse the supply chain required to produce and deliver that hydrogen, including the supply of hydrogen from using electrolysers for load balancing in the UK electricity system with a high penetration of renewable electricity.In the short-term, hydrogen electrolysers can support electricity system load balancing as the proportion of intermittent renewables increases. The Universities of Edinburgh and Reading have led efforts to characterise the UK wind power resource and to understand how new developments can be incorporated into the UK electricity system. This project will extend the models developed at these institutions to assess the indirect value of hydrogen in supporting a high penetration of renewable electricity by avoiding electricity network reinforcement. It will also link these models with the UK energy system model at UCL (UK TIMES) to assess the direct value of electrolysed hydrogen to companies, if the hydrogen is used in the gas network (power-to-gas), as an industrial feedstock, as a transport fuel or for large-scale storage as part of the electricity system. The models will identify the most appropriate locations for electrolysis deployment and the timescales on which they should be deployed.In the medium-term, the most important use of hydrogen is likely to be in the transport sector. UCL has recently examined how a hydrogen supply chain might develop across the UK using a new spatially-explicit infrastructure planning model called SHIPMod. This project will add a number of new features to this model including hydrogen pipelines and finer temporal disaggregation to link with the electrolysis parts of the network models developed at Edinburgh. It will be used to assess the value of hydrogen supply infrastructure and will identify the optimum deployment of infrastructure across the UK.In the longer term, hydrogen is a zero-carbon option to replace natural gas for heat generation. UCL have examined the potential for converting the natural gas networks to use hydrogen and to examine the long-term prospects for micro-CHP to replace boilers. This project will build on this research with the aims of: (i) assessing the value of hydrogen to the UK for heat provision; (ii) understanding the impact of hydrogen on the gas distribution networks; and, (iii) examining how using hydrogen for heat as well as transport would impact the development of a hydrogen supply infrastructure.Hydrogen infrastructure represents a risky investment in the early stages of a transition because of the highly uncertain future uptake of hydrogen vehicles. It is important to factor the cost of this risk into the value of hydrogen. We will use a mixture of real options and stochastic programming analysis, using the UK TIMES energy system model and the SHIPMod infrastructure planning model, to account for and manage risk in different scenarios (including using hydrogen only for transport or using it for both transport and heat). Hence we will identify scenarios with lower investment risk and we will identify policies that will reduce these risks and facilitate the development of a hydrogen economy.This project will build on existing research projects, including using models developed by the EPSRC H2FC Supergen Hub and the EPSRC Adaptation and Resilience in Energy Systems (ARIES) project. Funding for hydrogen research in the UK is currently almost exclusively focused on technology development and this project will fill an important gap in the funding landscape by taking a whole systems approach to understanding the potential role of hydrogen in future UK low-carbon energy system configurations.
Publications (none)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 06/01/14