Smart hydrogen storage operation and power-to-power routes

Overview of the status and impact of the innovation



Hydrogen storage offers another source of flexibility for the operation of the energy system in addition to existing sources such as batteries or pumped hydro. Seasonal storage is made possible considering hydrogen can be stored for a short or long term, from hours to months.

Stored hydrogen can be used directly, for example, in industrial processes. It could be used to produce synthetic fuels when the demand for such products is high. Alternatively, it could be converted back into electricity using fuel cells or gas turbines in a power-to-power (P2P) route, thereby reducing dependence on fossil fuels when electricity production from wind and solar falls short of demand. Hydrogen energy storage and P2P routes are under R&D to increase efficiency and lower costs in the coming years.


Hydrogen storage and batteries should not be viewed as competitors for providing flexibility to the power system; instead, they complement each other in important ways. The ideal mix may be using batteries to provide short-term flexibility (minutes or hours), while reserving hydrogen for long-term flexibility over weeks or months.

BOX 9.18 Electrical storage: The Eco-Energy World Gladstone project in Australia and the Delta Green project in France

Eco-Energy World (EEW) plans to combine its existing 300 MW solar power plant in Raglan (Queensland, Australia) with a 200 MW electrolyser plant and 100 MW of battery storage by the end of 2023. The hydrogen plant is designed to produce 33 000 tonnes of green hydrogen per year. The system will use battery storage to optimise operations (Renews, 2021).

In another example, the Delta Green project in France produces and stores green hydrogen during periods of high renewable energy production, and then converts the hydrogen back into electricity during peak-load hours (Construction21 France, 2018).

BOX 9.19 Power-to-power route in a demonstration project on Dachen Island (Taizhou, China)

A demonstration project utilises the abundant wind power on Dachen Island in the East China Sea to produce green hydrogen through proton exchange membrane electrolysis technology, and has constructed a co-generation system comprising hydrogen production, hydrogen storage and fuel cells. It is the first comprehensive green hydrogen demonstration project on an island in China. The project promotes the clean energy consumption and power flow optimisation of power grids on the island and achieves 100% consumption of clean energy and zero-carbon energy supply throughout the process. It is expected to consume 365 000 kWh of surplus wind power every year and produce 73 000 normal cubic metres (Nm3) of hydrogen, which can generate about 100 000 kWh of electricity and reduce 73 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions. The hydrogen storage is expected to act as a large power bank, and meet electricity demand on Dachen Island during peak electricity consumption and emergency maintenance.

Source: (Zhejiang News, 2022).