The Emergence of Hydrogen in the Distributed Energy Resources Marketplace
- Oct 28, 2020 6:10 pm GMT
This item is part of the Distributed Energy Resources - Fall 2020 SPECIAL ISSUE, click here for more
By Justin Murray, Regional Director, and David S. Klockner, Vice President, at Edison Energy
As climate change continues to put pressure on several markets including utilities, both on infrastructure and the balance sheet, some companies such as National Grid, Ameren, XCEL, and Southern California Edison (SCE) are pushing forward with aggressive decarbonization strategies by 2050 and are seeing the rewards from investors. Recent analytical studies by BlackRock and Morgan Stanley indicate that companies that “address climate-related physical and transition risks earn higher valuations from investors” and those that don’t, lose out. Many utilities are looking toward renewable Distributed Energy Resources (DER’s) to attain this decarbonization. Whether the utility chooses the DER strategy to consist of solar photovoltaic (PV) or wind, the limitation always remains that the peak demand is not coincident with renewables production and therefore hard to support. Some utilities are turning to large scale storage banks to support the peak but batteries are just as limited as regional applications, such as Solar or Wind, due to limitations on any non-weather dependent deployment. How can utilities turn toward cutting carbon and still produce enough electricity to support peak demand without fossil fuel burning plants? One answer may be hydrogen. But, is hydrogen always “green” and how can it be used effectively?
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