Dulas has completed a feasibility study into the production of green hydrogen in Wales with very positive results. The study was funded by the Welsh Government’s Smart Living HyBRID* SBRI project and involved assessing the technical and commercial feasibility of hydrogen production using two hydro-electric sites and a proposed wind farm as test cases.
Green hydrogen is made using renewable energy to electrolyse water. This produces hydrogen gas which can then be compressed, stored and transported for off-site use. It is expected to be a major component of the renewable energy mix in the future and demand is anticipated to increase dramatically.
Hydrogen could be used in a variety of ways across Wales – for example, to decarbonise the Cambrian railway line, bus routes and trucks– as the country is already blessed with a significant number of renewable energy power plants, with many more planned. All of these are able to produce very competitively priced electricity, which immediately makes the prospect of producing hydrogen more affordable.
The Dulas study assessed different elements of the green hydrogen production chain including electrolysis, compression, storage and transportation to local users. We also consulted closely with potential customers and stakeholder organisations and examined at what scale green hydrogen becomes commercially viable – the ultimate goal being an affordable sustainable source of green energy that is available locally. The conclusions of the report are extremely positive:
- Hydrogen production technology is developing rapidly and systems could be deployed now at renewable energy sites.
- A large scale production plant can produce green hydrogen that would be competitive with current diesel prices paid by road users.
- Hydrogen could be more feasible than battery electric vehicles due to the distances and hilly terrain in many parts of Wales
- A 10MW electrolysis system at a Welsh wind farm could produce green-fuel for around 70 heavy duty trucks per day.
Andy Skipton-Carter, Commercial Lead for Consulting at Dulas, commented: “Green hydrogen will undoubtedly be part of the renewable energy mix in the future. Heavy transport is already embracing the idea – trucks, buses and trains that run on hydrogen are already in use or at advanced stages of development. If Wales can produce its own green hydrogen, then the local transition to these zero carbon vehicles will be accelerated. In addition, as manufacturing scales up, the price of green hydrogen will come down. Dulas has just celebrated 40 years of delivering renewable energy projects and we have seen this very same story happen with solar PV and wind over the years. Initially it was quite a big investment but the cost of solar and wind energy has come down significantly in recent years and it’s now cheaper to generate than energy from fossil fuels. We are already seeing that the output from this work, and other work on green hydrogen, is stimulating activity around hydrogen production and use in Wales and Dulas are actively supporting a range of developments.”
*HyBRID (Hydrogen Business Research & Innovation for Decarbonisation) is a Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) funded by Welsh Government Smart Living. The aim of the HyBRID competition is to develop innovative and research solutions which support one or more of the ten objectives of the Welsh Government Wales Hydrogen Pathway report incorporated into the second carbon reduction plan Net Zero Wales CB2 – 2021-2025. These aim to accelerate the development of technologies and processes which enable the deployment of hydrogen as a keystone energy vector, which will be critical for meeting our national commitment to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.