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Hydrogen and wind: Allies for sustainable energy

Integrating hydrogen technologies and wind power could lead the way toward 100 percent renewable energy. But the path is under construction – and still requires a lot of hard work.

The electricity from wind and other renewable sources fluctuates with the weather – unlike the steady supply from burning fossil fuels – sudden storms can overload the grid, while at other times there might not be enough power to meet demand.

That’s why until we have a way to store renewable energy, it won’t be able to fully replace conventional power.

It is difficult to think of a higher penetration of renewable energy – the 80 or 90 percent that should be a reality before 2050 – without energy storage systems.

The most abundant element in the universe

Hydrogen can be produced from excess clean energy and be used as a zero-emission fuel – and as an energy storage system.

Like electricity, hydrogen is not a source of energy as such, but an “energy carrier.”

It’s best known to most of as a compound with oxygen. While H2O is the basic building block for life on earth, hydrogen itself accounts for 75 percent of all matter in the universe.

Still, on this planet, it doesn’t occur naturally in its pure, elemental form and must be produced through electrolysis. Water is broken down into hydrogen and oxygen by an electric current.

Producing hydrogen from wind power means that electricity that might otherwise destabilize the grid is converted to an energy source that can be stored and transported in various forms – including fuel cells to power vehicles.

Hydrogen without the carbon

95 percent of hydrogen is currently produced with electricity from fossil fuels. Using renewables in its production process could make hydrogen a completely sustainable fuel.

Hydrogen’s potential to provide cleaner transport and stabilize electricity grids as ever more renewable power is produced has many convinced of its key role in decarbonizing our energy supply.

“I am sure the penetration of hydrogen and of renewable energies in the power grids is going to notably increase,” stated Vladimir Vasilenko.

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