We examine a hydrogen transition strategy of using excess electric generation capacity in the U.S. midatlantic states during off-peak hours to produce hydrogen via electrolysis. Four different generation technologies are evaluated: combined-cycle natural gas, nuclear power, clean coal, and pulverized coal. We construct hydrogen-electricity price curves for each technology and evaluate the resulting air emissions of key pollutants. Substantial capital investments may be avoided by leveraging off generation assets that would otherwise be built to produce electricity. We also account for the interaction between the production of hydrogen and wholesale electricity prices and demand. Results show that off-peak electrolysis is a plausible but not dominant strategy for hydrogen production; however, there may be a substantial real option value in using the electric power system to transition to a hydrogen economy that may exceed the direct cost savings of producing hydrogen by less expensive methods.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering
- Electricity markets
- Hydrogen electrolysis
- Pennsylvania-New Jersey-Maryland (PJM)
- Tradeoff analysis