International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, Vol.45, No.3, 1541-1558, 2020
Flexible production of green hydrogen and ammonia from variable solar and wind energy: Case study of Chile and Argentina
We report a techno-economic modelling for the flexible production of hydrogen and ammonia from water and optimally combined solar and wind energy. We use hourly data in four locations with world-class solar in the Atacama desert and wind in Patagonia steppes. We find that hybridization of wind and solar can reduce hydrogen production costs by a few percents, when the effect of increasing the load factor on the electrolyser overweighs the electricity cost increase. For ammonia production, the gains by hybridization can be substantially larger, because it reduces the power variability, which is costly, due to the need for intermediate storage of hydrogen between the flexible electrolyser and the less flexible ammonia synthesis unit. Our modelling reveals the crucial role in the synthesis of flexibility, which cuts the cost of variability, especially for the more variable wind power. Our estimated near-term production costs for green hydrogen, around 2 USD/kg, and green ammonia, below 500 USD/t, are encouragingly close to competitiveness against fossil-fuel alternatives. (C) 2019 Hydrogen Energy Publications LLC. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.