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The use of fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV) powered by hydrogen has the potential to replace fossil fuelled vehicles. As a result the UK
H2Mobility project predicts that there could be over 1.6 million such vehicles in the UK by 2030 supported by 1,150 refuelling stations.
FCEV do not produce any emissions, however the production of hydrogen through electrolysis requires electricity. For FCEV to be a viable alternative to fossil fuel or electric vehicles a reliable method of production and supply of high purity hydrogen
will be required. Electrolysers can help provide that reliable method of production and UK H2Mobility suggest that 51% of the required hydrogen will be produced by electrolysers by 2030. This could create an additional annual energy demand
of up to 9,000 GWh across the UK; this is the equivalent of 12 times the annual domestic electricity use in Liverpool. It could also potentially increase the national peak network load by 1GW. As a result significant network reinforcement could be
required. This project is investigating how the impact of this potential energy requirement could be minimised to avoid network reinforcement which is both a costly and time consuming solution.
In addition, if the electricity used by the electrolyser can be obtained from renewable sources there is further significant opportunity to reduce carbon emissions throughout the UK. In the Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks area there is a continued
appetite to connect renewable generation. However, some connections cannot be progressed without significant reinforcement on account of limitations in the existing network. The Scottish Government has set ambitious targets to provide 80% of electricity from renewable sources by 2020. Electrolysers could potentially offer significant benefits by providing grid-balancing services to enable more renewable generation where the existing network
is constrained. Therefore, the ability for large electrolysers to be integrated with renewable technologies needs to be understood.
This project supports the Aberdeen Hydrogen Bus Project where 10 FCEV buses (currently the largest fleet of FCEV buses in the UK) are operating. The buses are fuelled from a state of the art refuelling station with a 1MW on-site electrolyser in Aberdeen. The electrolyser
is controlled by a simulation system that issues control signals to trial a number of commercial operational strategies based upon the above issues. The project will analyse the results from these trials and evaluate their performance to identify
any additional value electrolysers could provide to electricity distribution network operators.
Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks are pleased to announce the publication of our report into the Impact of Electrolysers on the Distribution Network.
This detailed report considers the potential implication to distribution networks across the UK, and follows the suggested roll out of a hydrogen fuel infrastructure as detailed in the H2
The UK's first hydrogen production and bus refuelling station in Aberdeen has reached a major milestone – its 1,000threfuel.
Read the latest news from the
Scottish Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association
Read the latest from the European Hydrogen Association.