Tasks in definition

Renewable Hydrogen
Importance of the topic

For hydrogen to play a key role in the achievement of climate neutrality, its production will have to be fully decarbonized and the global production capacity increased by orders of magnitude compared to the current levels. Renewable-powered water electrolysis is currently the most mature approach to green hydrogen production and a significant increase in the deployment of this technology is envisaged within the next 10 years worldwide. However, there are several alternative processes to produce hydrogen from different combinations of renewable energy sources and feedstocks, which could complement electrolysis to achieve higher production capacities in a future flexible and resilient energy system. Networking and collaboration between worldwide experts on these processes will foster the advancement of their technology readiness level and the development of a shared approach for their technological assessment, which will help to fully understand the potential and issues of each option.

Alignment with the Strategic Plan

The task is fully aligned with the priorities set for the collaborative RD&D theme of the strategic plan 2020-2025. Furthermore, the development of alternative pathways to green hydrogen production based on different renewable sources/feedstocks allows to fully exploit the flexibility of hydrogen as a renewable energy carrier, thus consolidating its role as a link between different energy networks and contributing to the achievement of energy security objectives.

Main goals

The task mostly aims at monitoring the evolution and supporting the visibility of alternative green hydrogen production technologies as well as developing a framework for their technological assessment.

Participation and collaboration

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Underground Hydrogen Storage

This Task-In-Definition focuses on research & innovation challenges to prove and demonstrate the technical, economic, and societal viability of underground hydrogen storage (UHS). This concerns storage options in porous reservoirs, salt caverns, and other manmade spaces. While salt caverns are already being deployed for static storage of hydrogen, there is a need to test the technical feasibility of fast cyclic and high-performance injection and production as well as optimal management of dense clusters of them. The technical viability of hydrogen storage in porous reservoirs is relatively less developed, and as such, it is still under more fundamental scientific and technological investigations.

Alignment with the Strategic Plan

Widespread implementation and utilization of hydrogen in the future energy system come with a need for large-scale storage capacities in order to balance intermittent production (from wind and sun) and variable consumption (flexibility electricity grid, heat demand) at intra- and inter-seasonal timescales. Subsurface reservoirs such as depleted gas fields, salt caverns, and other man-made spaces are essential in providing the associated storage volumes. There is a need for accelerated techno-economical maturation of these technologies in order to ensure their timely availability and to establish the foundations for safe and responsible deployment.

Goal and approach

The goal is to support the acceleration and safe implementation of underground hydrogen storage through coordinated collaborations and knowledge dissemination. The ambition is to contribute to research within this area, be a technology monitor for ongoing and new activities as well as contributing to the development of a regulatory framework for hydrogen underground storage in the countries involved in the task.

The work is expected to take place over a period of two years. The task will be organized into several sub-tasks clustering the various research challenges and topics.

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Hydrogen from Nuclear Energy
Goal and approach

The general objective is to provide a comprehensive understanding of the role of nuclear energy to produce hydrogen and to analyse economic and regulatory pathways for hydrogen from nuclear according to the local situation and a comprehensive assessment of the existing legal framework.

The Task will include both the business model evaluation and the analysis of the advantages regarding macro-economic impacts through a systemic approach.
Nuclear hydrogen assessment will be carried out both for the current nuclear fleet, including the business model analysis and the impact on nuclear reactor operating conditions, and for the future system. Possibilities of the dedicated-to-hydrogen production system or multiple applications for a nuclear plant or hybrid systems (combining renewables and nuclear) will be investigated.

The task will be focused on two directions: hydrogen production with current nuclear plant and current energy system, and future schemes for hydrogen production with nuclear energy, including a future scheme for the energy system. It will include 2 or 3 horizon time frames: 2030, 2040 and 2060 for example. It must include a large diversity in terms of geographical and economic scopes.

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