Description: This report summarizes U.S. geographic analysis of the cost of hydrogen from electrolysis. Wind-based water electrolysis represents a viable path to renewably-produced hydrogen production. It might be used for hydrogen-based transportation fuels, energy storage to augment electricity grid services, or as a supplement for other industrial hydrogen uses. This analysis focuses on the levelized production, costs of producing green hydrogen, rather than market prices which would require more extensive knowledge of an hourly or daily hydrogen market. However, the costs of hydrogen presented here do include a small profit from an internal rate of return on the system. The cost of renewable wind-based hydrogen production is very sensitive to the cost of the wind electricity. Using differently priced grid electricity to supplement the system had only a small effect on the cost of hydrogen; because wind electricity was always used either directly or indirectly to fully generate the hydrogen. Wind classes 3-6 across the U.S. were examined and the costs of hydrogen ranged from $3.74kg to $5.86/kg. These costs do not quite meet the 2015 DOE targets for central or distributed hydrogen production ($3.10/kg and $3.70/kg, respectively), so more work is needed on reducing the cost of wind electricity and the electrolyzers. If the PTC and ITC are claimed, however, many of the sites will meet both targets. For a subset of distributed refueling stations where there is also inexpensive, open space nearby this could be an alternative to central hydrogen production and distribution.
Date: December 1, 2011
Creator: Saur, G. & Ainscough, C.
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Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department