In a carbon-neutral future, which Europe hopes to achieve by 2050, renewable energies play a key role. In addition to not producing polluting emissions – thus improving air quality – and helping to combat climate change, they also help preserve natural resources.
Among their benefits, we can also mention that they are an inexhaustible source of energy, which can reduce energy dependence on third parties. They are also presented as an opportunity to generate employment and for the development of rural areas.
However, the development of renewable electricity poses a major technological challenge: the storage of the energy produced. Solar or wind installations, for example, make it possible to obtain clean and safe electricity. But if there is no sunlight or wind, they are not capable of sustaining the electricity grid. If we pursue the goal of eliminating energy dependence on non-renewable sources, storage of the clean energy produced is key to filling this gap.
The development of renewable electricity poses a major technological challenge: the storage of the energy produced
The demand for energy continues to grow, despite the hiatus caused by the pandemic. In the face of resource scarcity and geopolitical tensions, the installed capacity of renewable energies also continues to rise.
But despite these two facts, the energy transition faces a key challenge: for renewable electricity to be a real global solution, it is necessary to compensate for the intermittent supply they offer.
Renewable electric energy requires essential weather conditions to operate. Their production, even in the course of a single day, can be highly variable. This is where the need to store the energy generated comes in, so that it can be used when there is demand.
Depending on the renewable source, different options are available, such as pumping in reservoirs with hydroelectric power plants or the use of highly calorific salts in concentrating solar power stations. But there is one option that is gaining more and more followers due to its multiple advantages: green hydrogen, considered the energy vector of the future.
The green hydrogen is positioned as a key solution for large-scale storage of renewable electrical energy. It is a viable technology that allows the release of stored energy in a controlled way when needed, thus compensating for the intermittent generation of electric renewables.
Among its many advantages is the fact that it is a totally clean energy, since it does not emit CO2 either in its production or in its consumption. It is also versatile and manageable. If we add to this the fact that it can be used in mobility, as well as for domestic, commercial and industrial consumption, we are talking about a revolution for the energy sector.
The green hydrogen is positioned as a key solution for large-scale storage of renewable electrical energy
Green hydrogen can also be transported using existing infrastructure, either with dedicated hydrogen-only networks or by blending with natural gas, which facilitates its distribution to where it is needed. This quality is especially relevant since other alternatives, such as batteries, are unaffordable on a large scale. Its large-scale deployment is part of the European Union’s and Spain’s plans to achieve a carbon neutral future by 2050.
A sustainable future in which we can use exclusively clean energy may be feasible if we solve the storage dilemma. Thanks to the storage and transport capacity of renewable hydrogen, we are on the right track.