The HyBalance project is one of several initiatives to help transform energy systems from fossil dependency to relying on renewable and local energy sources by utilising the potential of hydrogen.
EU working for energy independence and decarbonisation
The EU is committed to a forward-looking climate policy with energy security and independence, decarbonising of the economy, as some of its prioritised dimensions.
Until recently, a mix of biomass and wind -and solar-based energy sources combined with energy savings appeared to be sufficient to cover energy needs and provide adequate flexibility to balance the fluctuations from wind- and solar-based electricity, which is essential for the stability in the grid. In this scheme, hydrogen only played an indirect role as an intermediate energy carrier. Its potential as a direct application in end-use had not really surfaced.
But in recent years, the use of wind- and solar-based electricity has gained more attention also in transportation. There is also an understanding that this may have a greater impact on the energy system as a whole than previously believed. With the share of renewable energy growing in the energy mix, the need to store and downstream use in fossil dependent sectors such as transportation has thus become a critical issue.
The potential of hydrogen
Together with the insight that biomass is a limited resource that therefore has inadequate global potential in the energy system with an increasing total renewable electricity demand, the issue of using hydrogen to back up electricity in the energy sector has surfaced. The production of hydrogen based on wind power utilising electrolysis is a known technology but there is still only limited demonstrations of large scale systems operating in a highly-dynamic environment and providing grid-balancing services.
The HyBalance project will demonstrate how to produce hydrogen on a larger scale from wind power, enabling the storage of cheap renewable electricity, helping to balance the grid and supplying the industrial and the transportation sector with green hydrogen.
The HyBalance project has a budget of EUR 15 million.
EU and ForskEL supports the HyBalance project
The Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU) has been formed in order to support research, technological development and demonstration of activities in fuel cell and hydrogen energy technologies in Europe. The aim is to accelerate the market introduction of these technologies, realising their potential as instruments in achieving a carbon-lean energy system. FCH JU has recently become part of the EU Horizon 2020 Framework Programme with a budget for developing new activities within fuel cell and hydrogen energy technologies.
The HyBalance project is funded by FCH JU to the tune of EUR 8 million.
ForskEL is a Danish research program, the purpose of which is to support the development and integration of environmentally friendly power generation technologies for grid connection. The program is financed through the Danish PSO tariff (Public Service Obligation) to which all electrical consumers in Denmark contribute.
The HyBalance project is funded with EUR 2.6 million from the ForskEL program, which is administered by Energinet.dk.