Are electrofuels a sustainable transport fuel? Analysis of the effect of controls on carbon, curtailment, and cost of hydrogen

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dc.contributor.author McDonagh, Shane
dc.contributor.author Deane, Paul
dc.contributor.author Rajendran, Karthik
dc.contributor.author Murphy, Jerry D.
dc.date.accessioned 2019-05-15T11:16:14Z
dc.date.available 2019-05-15T11:16:14Z
dc.date.issued 2019-04-30
dc.identifier.citation McDonagh, S., Deane, P., Rajendran, K. and Murphy, J. D. (2019) 'Are electrofuels a sustainable transport fuel? Analysis of the effect of controls on carbon, curtailment, and cost of hydrogen', Applied Energy, 247, pp. 716-730. doi: 10.1016/j.apenergy.2019.04.060 en
dc.identifier.volume 247 en
dc.identifier.startpage 716 en
dc.identifier.endpage 730 en
dc.identifier.issn 0306-2619
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10468/7914
dc.identifier.doi 10.1016/j.apenergy.2019.04.060 en
dc.description.abstract Variable renewable electricity (VRE) decarbonises the electricity grid, but its intermittency leads to variations in price, carbon intensity, and curtailment over time. This has led to interest in utilising difficult to manage electricity to produce electrofuels (such as hydrogen via water electrolysis) for transport. The vast majority of the environmental impact of electrofuels is contained in the electricity they consume however, only consuming otherwise curtailed electricity (produced when supply exceeds demand) leads to prohibitively expensive hydrogen due to low run hours. Using a model which bids for wholesale electricity, two operational strategies (controls) aimed at increasing sustainability without requiring policy changes were tested in electricity system models of 40–60% renewable electricity penetration. (1) Bid price control set a maximum price the plant will pay for electricity. (2) Wind forecast control dictated that the plant may only run when a minimum forecast VRE production is met. It was shown that sourcing electricity at times of low cost or high forecast wind power can lead to more decarbonised hydrogen production (up to 56% more) at a lower cost (up to 57% less). When economically optimised (minimising levelised costs) the bid price control reduced the carbon intensity of the electrofuel produced by 5–25%, and the wind forecast control by 14–38%, compared to the grid average. Both controls demonstrated a high proclivity to utilising otherwise curtailed electricity and can be said to aid grid balancing. The bid price control also greatly reduced the average cost of electricity to the plant. The positive impacts increased with renewables penetration, and significant synergies between economic and environmentally conscious operation of the plants were noted. The operational strategies tested in this paper allow for transport fuels to be produced from grid electricity, without exacerbating the mismatch of supply and demand. Future decentralised quasi-storage using these operating strategies may economically produce transport fuel, and aid grid balancing. en
dc.description.sponsorship Science Foundation Ireland (16/SP/3829); Gas Networks Ireland (Gas Innovation Group) en
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.publisher Elsevier Ltd. en
dc.relation.uri http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0306261919307068
dc.rights © 2019, Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. This manuscript version is made available under the CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 license. en
dc.rights.uri https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/ en
dc.subject Hydrogen en
dc.subject Power-to-gas en
dc.subject Electrofuel en
dc.subject Curtailment en
dc.subject Energy storage en
dc.subject Sustainability en
dc.title Are electrofuels a sustainable transport fuel? Analysis of the effect of controls on carbon, curtailment, and cost of hydrogen en
dc.type Article (peer-reviewed) en
dc.internal.authorcontactother Shane Mcdonagh, MaREI Centre, Environmental Research Institute, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland. +353-21-490-3000 E: shane.mcdonagh@ucc.ie en
dc.internal.availability Full text available en
dc.check.info Access to this article is restricted until 24 months after publication by request of the publisher. en
dc.check.date 2021-04-30
dc.date.updated 2019-05-15T11:05:12Z
dc.description.version Accepted Version en
dc.internal.rssid 485312344
dc.contributor.funder Science Foundation Ireland en
dc.contributor.funder Gas Networks Ireland en
dc.contributor.funder Ervia, Ireland en
dc.description.status Peer reviewed en
dc.identifier.journaltitle Applied Energy en
dc.internal.copyrightchecked Yes
dc.internal.licenseacceptance Yes en
dc.internal.IRISemailaddress shane.mcdonagh@ucc.ie en
dc.relation.project info:eu-repo/grantAgreement/SFI/SFI Research Centres/12/RC/2302/IE/Marine Renewable Energy Ireland (MaREI) - The SFI Centre for Marine Renewable Energy Research/ en


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© 2019, Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. This manuscript version is made available under the CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 license. Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as © 2019, Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. This manuscript version is made available under the CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 license.
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