Applied Energy, Vol.235, 1001-1016, 2019
Impacts of renewable hydrogen production from wind energy in electricity markets on potential hydrogen demand for light-duty vehicles
This work developed two methods to investigate the technical and economic potential of hydrogen demand and production: (1) estimating potential hydrogen demand for light-duty vehicles (LDVs) at the county-level using a first-order engineering model, and (2) quantifying temporal renewable hydrogen production from wind energy using a linear programming model. The potential hydrogen demand was primarily evaluated for three geographical regions: (1) the United States, (2) Texas, and (3) the Texas Triangle which is one of the nation's most important mega-regions. The linear programming model compared marginal electricity and hydrogen prices to maximize revenue over the course of a year. The analysis primarily focused on the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), but also included other six U.S. electricity markets for hypothetical analysis. Results show that the potential hydrogen demand for LDVs in the United States, Texas, and the Texas Triangle are 53.3, 5.3, and 3.9 billion kg per year, respectively. Using the electrolyzer system energy efficiency of 75% and the marginal hydrogen price of $4/kg, the wind energy in Texas as of 2015 could produce nearly 0.84 billion kg of hydrogen, which could supply about 22% of the potential hydrogen demand for LDVs in the Texas Triangle. When the marginal hydrogen price is low (e.g. $1/kg), it is only favorable to produce hydrogen during early morning hours, especially, 1-6 a.m., in ERGOT and other electricity markets except California's market. These results could provide information for decision makers to better understand the holistic feasibility of a hydrogen economy in the United States.