Electricity transmission system operators including hydrogen facilities in their planning

Overview of the status and impact of the innovation



Transmission system operators (TSOs) can take advantage of the flexibility provided by electrolysers by including hydrogen production facilities in their planning procedures and using them to help resolve network issues. For example, electrolysers could be located in areas with grid congestion due to excessive variable renewable energy generation (e.g. northern Germany or southern Italy) (IRENA, 2020b). Alternatively, both electrolysers and renewable power generation facilities dedicated solely to hydrogen production could be built in areas with substantial renewable resources but very low existing electricity demand (e.g. parts of Northern Africa).


Locating electrolysers appropriately in the power grid is key for the smart integration of power to hydrogen. An ideal location makes it possible to produce hydrogen entirely with renewable sources, such as solar and wind power, or help integrate renewable energy sources into the grid. Smart planning by TSOs is thus important for the smart development of the hydrogen economy (IRENA, 2020d).

BOX 9.16 Capacity maps developed by Energinet, a transmission system operator in Denmark

The capacity maps developed by Energinet are useful tools for planning an electrolyser’s location. They map the geographical locations of production and consumption in the transmission network, and also show areas of grid congestion and locations where new assets could profitably be connected. Energinet updated the capacity maps in 2021 to include areas with sufficient solar and wind capacity to power new hydrogen production facilities (Brintbranchen, 2021).