Should we use hydrogen or batteries for grid storage?

Energy storage on a grid scale would revolutionise the global energy sector. There are many competing technologies but one that is sometimes overlooked is hydrogen. While in use in some pilot schemes its low round-trip efficiency overshadows its high energy density and low rate of self-discharge.

A new paper Hydrogen or batteries for grid storage? A net energy analysis looks at a hypothetical regenerative hydrogen fuel cell that could provide grid scale storage. The work compares this potential method for storage with a lithium-ion battery system. The research demonstrates that hydrogen compares favourably to using batteries in many areas but it is the round-trip efficiency which will need to improve for it to be a useful alternative.

The full paper was published in the journal Energy & Environmental Science as an Open Access article licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported Licence. It cand be found online on the Royal Society of Chemistry website.

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