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Using surplus nuclear power for hydrogen mobility and power-to-gas in France

Scamman, D; Newborough, M; (2016) Using surplus nuclear power for hydrogen mobility and power-to-gas in France. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy , 41 (24) pp. 10080-10089. 10.1016/j.ijhydene.2016.04.166. Green open access

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Abstract

Opportunities exist to utilise excess electricity from renewable and nuclear power generation for producing hydrogen. France in particular has a very high penetration of nuclear power plant, some of which is regularly turned down to follow the electricity demand profile. This excess nuclear electricity could be utilised via the electrolysis of water to satisfy the emerging French market for low-carbon hydrogen (principally for mobility applications and the injection of synthetic gas into the natural gas grid). The described analysis examines the use of electrolysers to progressively ‘valley fill’ nuclear load profiles and so limit the need for turning down nuclear plant in France. If an electrolyser capacity of approximately 20 GW is installed, there is already sufficient excess nuclear electricity available now to meet the predicted hydrogen mobility fuel demand for 2050, plus achieve a 5% concentration (by volume) of hydrogen in the gas grid, plus produce approximately 33 TWh p.a. of synthetic methane (via the methanation of hydrogen with carbon dioxide). The pattern of electrolyser utilisation requires operation mostly at a variable part load condition, necessitating the adoption of flexible, efficient, rapid response electrolysers. The proposed approach more fully utilises the substantial existing nuclear power assets of France and provides an additional pathway to renewables for reducing the CO2 emissions of hydrogen production.

Type: Article
Title: Using surplus nuclear power for hydrogen mobility and power-to-gas in France
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.ijhydene.2016.04.166
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijhydene.2016.04.166
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2016. This manuscript version is published under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial Non-derivative 4.0 International licence (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0). This licence allows you to share, copy, distribute and transmit the work for personal and non-commercial use providing author and publisher attribution is clearly stated. Further details about CC BY licences are available at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0. Access may be initially restricted by the publisher.
Keywords: Electrolysers; Power-to-gas; Hydrogen mobility; Demand side management; Nuclear power utilisation
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Bartlett School Env, Energy and Resources
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1501852
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