Student's model of cost effective hydrogen production to be discussed today


It is possible to lower production prices in the development of water electrolysis technologies by participating in the regulatory power market. These are the results from a financial model that is a part of Jeff Jacobs' master´s thesis which will be defended today at RU. The thesis also shows that more structured secondary markets, however, and more competition in these markets in the future could be even more beneficial to the success of these energy-balancing technologies.

The title of the thesis is  Economic Modeling of Cost Effective Hydrogen Production From Water Electrolysis by Utilizing Iceland's Regulating Power Market. Supervisors were Einar Jón Ásbjörnsson and Guðmundur Gunnarsson.

Water electrolysis technologies have demonstrated their ability to perform sufficiently enough for electrical grid balancing services while also producing gaseous hydrogen, which is a useful product in today's society. As installed renewable energy capacity increases, and hydrogen demand increases as well, electrolytic technologies will be needed to serve as flexible demand side management (DSM) techniques for a transmission grid operator to use in times of grid instability. 

Jacobs performed a financial analysis on hypothetical alkaline electrolysis plants attempting to lower manufacturing costs by participating in Iceland's regulatory power market as a DSM tool. 

The details

The market is based on bidding to provide up or down regulation power, and this analysis focused more so on up-regulation bidding because of higher profits available (>4000 ISK per bid). Production prices not including bids ranged from 2,7 – 3,1 €/kg amongst the cases, which were characterized by a different number of electrolyzers. Production prices including bids reached lower than 2€/kg.  Wholesale electricity costs positively correlate with production price when not including revenue from bids. Revenue from bids both positively and inversely correlated with production prices depending on the frequency of bids at a specific target price. The 11,5 MW (5 unit) case study in particular showed the most promise due to its favorable capital costs and mid-sized capacity. 

The Iceland School of Energy (ISE) at Reykjavik University aims to train students in the field of clean energy. 
The school offers a unique opportunity to study sustainable energy in close cooperation with leaders in the field of renewable energy. 

Read about Iceland School of Energy at RU