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Title: Cost Competitiveness of Electrolytic Hydrogen

Abstract

Hydrogen is often considered an energy carrier of the future in part because of the costs to implement a hydrogen-based system. However, using 7,182 industrial and commercial US retail electric utility rates, this study dynamically simulates electrolyzer operations under different utility rate structures and shows that electrolysis units can already provide cost-competitive fuel in 20 states operating under 81 retail electricity rates. Our analysis shows that current hydrogen production costs range from US$2.6 to US$12.3 kg-1 and can be significantly reduced through flexible operation if dynamic tariffs are used. Hydrogen production costs for the 81 utility rates in 20 states are already less than US$4.0 kg-1 and competitive with the fuel cost of gasoline vehicles. Thus, under the right conditions, hydrogen fuel is already cost competitive in the US energy sector and has several interesting possible roles to play in future energy and transportation systems.

Authors:
 [1]; ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1]
  1. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Fuel Cell Technologies Office (EE-3F)
OSTI Identifier:
1547251
Report Number(s):
NREL/JA-5D00-70803
DOE Contract Number:  
AC36-08GO28308
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Joule
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Joule
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
08 HYDROGEN; hydrogen; electrolysis; retail electric utility rates; energy carrier; production cost; fuel cost assessment

Citation Formats

Guerra Fernandez, Omar Jose, Eichman, Joshua D, Kurtz, Jennifer M, and Hodge, Brian S. Cost Competitiveness of Electrolytic Hydrogen. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. doi:10.1016/j.joule.2019.07.006.
Guerra Fernandez, Omar Jose, Eichman, Joshua D, Kurtz, Jennifer M, & Hodge, Brian S. Cost Competitiveness of Electrolytic Hydrogen. United States. doi:10.1016/j.joule.2019.07.006.
Guerra Fernandez, Omar Jose, Eichman, Joshua D, Kurtz, Jennifer M, and Hodge, Brian S. Wed . "Cost Competitiveness of Electrolytic Hydrogen". United States. doi:10.1016/j.joule.2019.07.006.
@article{osti_1547251,
title = {Cost Competitiveness of Electrolytic Hydrogen},
author = {Guerra Fernandez, Omar Jose and Eichman, Joshua D and Kurtz, Jennifer M and Hodge, Brian S},
abstractNote = {Hydrogen is often considered an energy carrier of the future in part because of the costs to implement a hydrogen-based system. However, using 7,182 industrial and commercial US retail electric utility rates, this study dynamically simulates electrolyzer operations under different utility rate structures and shows that electrolysis units can already provide cost-competitive fuel in 20 states operating under 81 retail electricity rates. Our analysis shows that current hydrogen production costs range from US$2.6 to US$12.3 kg-1 and can be significantly reduced through flexible operation if dynamic tariffs are used. Hydrogen production costs for the 81 utility rates in 20 states are already less than US$4.0 kg-1 and competitive with the fuel cost of gasoline vehicles. Thus, under the right conditions, hydrogen fuel is already cost competitive in the US energy sector and has several interesting possible roles to play in future energy and transportation systems.},
doi = {10.1016/j.joule.2019.07.006},
journal = {Joule},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {7}
}