Large-scale deployment of a hydrogen energy system

IDRIC Project 7.1

energy institute
ERM
Frazer Nash
Genesis
energy institute
ERM
Frazer Nash
Genesis

Background

The Energy Institute held a hydrogen energy transition workshop with stakeholders in hydrogen production, storage and distribution, which identified the following needs to facilitate the large-scale deployment of a hydrogen energy system:

  • The relative lifecycle analysis of hydrogen value chain options, both for:

    • energy intensity and associated CO2 emissions

    • wider feedstocks and emissions

  • The basis for making a demonstration of safety (a ‘safety case’) for facilities and operations in the foreseeable hydrogen value chain.

These needs were further scoped into three research projects.

Martin Maeso

Principal Investigator
Energy Institute

Project Team

Energy Institute:
Mark Scanlon
Toni Needham
Amaia O’Reilly

Aim

The three projects propose to collaborate with relevant stakeholders to:

  • Determine the relative lifecycle analysis of hydrogen value chain options, both for:
    • energy intensity and associated CO2 emissions
    • wider feedstocks and emissions
  • Define the basis for making a demonstration of safety (a ‘safety case’) for facilities and operations in the foreseeable hydrogen value chain.

The lifecycle analysis projects should help inform policy (e.g., sustainable investment) on the relative merits of various hydrogen value chain options, such as the embedded carbon associated with different options for transporting hydrogen between a supplier and a recipient. This should help a recipient to understand the relative ‘greenness’ of hydrogen supplies.

The ‘safety case’ project seeks to understand the range of legislation and regulations applicable to foreseeable hydrogen value chain options, and whether there are gaps that fall under general duties in higher level legislation that lack detailed interpretation. This mapping has been carried out both for foreseeable onshore and offshore hydrogen facilities and operations.

Each project envisages several phases. Only Phase 1 has been commissioned within available funding. The findings of Phase 1 will be used to ascertain whether there is value in taking forward Phases 2, 3 and 4, e.g., to infill knowledge shortfalls.

Phase 1 generally comprises a  baseline/gap-analysis desktop research to define the current position.

Meet the Team

 

Team 1

Mark Scanlon

Energy Institute

Team 1

Amaia O’Reilly

Energy Institute

Team 1

Toni Needham

Energy Institute

Team 1

Mark Scanlon

Energy Institute

Team 1

Amaia O’Reilly

Energy Institute

Team 1

Toni Needham

Energy Institute

Case Study / Progress

Clusters

A stakeholder Working Group has been established to further develop the scope of each project, provide direction and peer review the Phase 1 draft deliverable. The active participants for each project are:

  • Lifecycle analysis of hydrogen value chain options for energy intensity and associated CO2 emissions:

Total Energies, Chrysaor, Genesis Energies, SSE, Kingston University, BP, University of Brighton, Cadent, and Engineering Solutions.

  • Lifecycle analysis of hydrogen value chain options for wider feedstocks and emissions:

Neptune Energy, Uniper Energy, University of Brighton, Environment Agency, CNOOC, SSE Thermal, Harbour Energy, ENI, Vattenfall, Aramco, TotalEnergies, Beacon Tech Consulting, IChemE, and Frazer Nash Consultancy.

  • Making a demonstration of safety (a ‘safety case’) for facilities and operations in the foreseeable hydrogen value chain:

Progressive Energy, Health and Safety Executive, ERM, National Grid, Environment Agency, Petrofac, ENI, WSP, Thornton Tomasetti and Vulcan Hazard Management

Outputs

The first lifecycle analysis project is complete with main deliverable published as Research report: Application of life cycle assessment methodology to the understanding of the energy balance and efficiency of hydrogen value chain building blocks (Energy Institute, 1st edition, May 2022, 9781787253216)

As this study used openly available data, rather than sourcing data from cluster stakeholders, no further project Phases are required.

The second lifecycle analysis project is in progress and expected to be technically finalised by end Q4 2022/2023 fiscal year.

The ‘safety case’ project has delivered an interim deliverable Technical workshop proceedings: Hydrogen safety cases – Challenges in hydrogen safety case development in UK/European industrial clusters (Energy Institute, 1st edition, November 2021, 9781787252998), . The main deliverable of this project is technically finalised: Research Report: Review of Directives/Regulations relevant to the safe and environmentally compliant production, transportation, and storage of hydrogen (Energy Institute, 1st edition, September 2022, ‘in press’).

The deliverable from the lifecycle analysis for energy intensity and associated CO2 emissions covers production, transmission, storage & distribution, and usage/consumption aspects of the hydrogen value chain. By joining the outcomes of these three blocks together, an analysis of the energy balance and efficiencies of the whole system can be obtained to inform decision making, such as investment or procurement policy. A Phase 2 project is not required.

The lifecycle analysis of hydrogen value chain options for wider feedstocks and emissions is in early-stage development. It is too early to say whether a Phase 2 project is envisaged.

Emerging findings from the ‘safety case’ project are that a comprehensive set of legislation and regulations covering the end-to-end processes and hydrogen application is by no means complete (albeit typically covered by generic higher-level legislation). Options for Phase 2 projects have been identified.