Hydrogen Power for High-Temperature Heating - by HyInHeat - India Renewable Energy Consulting – Solar, Biomass, Wind, Cleantech
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Hydrogen Power for High-Temperature Heating – by HyInHeat

Here’s an article from DNV that talks about the HyInHeat project, led by Celsian and DNV, aims to develop industrial burners that can handle natural gas/hydrogen blends ranging from 0-100% hydrogen

According to the article, 

  • Project goal: Develop industrial burners for natural gas (0-100% hydrogen).
  • Testing: At DNV combustion lab.
  • Benefits:
    • Decarbonization of industrial heat.
    • Flexibility & efficiency with adaptable burners.
    • Optimized furnace design for hydrogen.
    • Reduced NOx emissions.

The transition from natural gas to hydrogen for heating processes is likely to have significant impacts on costs. Here are some key things to remember about it:

  1. Higher Energy System Costs: The use of hydrogen for heating buildings would entail higher energy system costs compared to the alternatives, such as district heating networks, electrification of heating, and the use of solar thermal and waste heat. For instance, a study by the International Energy Agency (IEA) found that the cost of district heating networks could be as low as €0.05/kWh, while the cost of hydrogen heating could range from €0.15 to €0.30/kWh.
  2. Higher Heating Costs: The cost of heating with hydrogen could be higher than with natural gas due to the inefficiencies in hydrogen production. For example, using blue hydrogen to replace natural gas for heating could require three times as much methane, while using green hydrogen would need two to three times as much electricity as heat pumps. According to a study by the University of California, Berkeley, the cost of heating with hydrogen could be 1.5 to 2.5 times higher than with natural gas.
  3. Higher Environmental Impacts: The use of hydrogen for heating buildings would also lead to higher environmental impacts compared to the alternatives, which could offset any potential climate benefits from the transition. For instance, a study by the European Commission found that the production of hydrogen from natural gas could lead to an increase in greenhouse gas emissions of up to 1.5 times compared to the use of natural gas directly.
  4. Cost of Low- and Zero-Carbon Hydrogen: The cost of low- and zero-carbon hydrogen is evolving and will influence its use in various applications, including chemical feedstocks, long haul aviation and shipping, and long-term energy storage. Green hydrogen is likely to see the greatest reductions in production cost over time. According to a study by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the cost of green hydrogen could fall to as low as $1.50 per kilogram by 2050.
  5. Hybrid Heat Pumps: Hybrid heat pumps, which combine the use of an electric heat pump with a hydrogen boiler, may play a role in residential heating in areas where upgrading networks to meet peak electrical demand would otherwise be costly. This could help reduce the overall cost of heating. A study by the University of Cambridge found that hybrid heat pumps could reduce the cost of heating by up to 30% compared to traditional hydrogen boilers.
  6. Infrastructure Development: The transition to hydrogen will require significant investments in infrastructure, including the development of hydrogen production facilities, transportation networks, and appliances. These costs will need to be factored into the overall cost of the transition. According to a study by the International Energy Agency (IEA), the cost of developing the necessary infrastructure could range from €100 to €500 billion by 2050.
  7. Safety and Training: Ensuring the safety of hydrogen use in homes will be critical, and this will require investments in safety testing and training for both industry professionals and end-users. This could add to the overall cost of the transition. According to a study by the European Commission, the cost of safety testing and training could range from €0.05 to €0.10 per kilogram of hydrogen.

In summary, the transition from natural gas to hydrogen for heating processes will likely involve higher energy system costs, higher heating costs, and higher environmental impacts compared to the alternatives. However, the cost of low- and zero-carbon hydrogen is evolving, and green hydrogen is likely to see significant reductions in production cost over time.

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Interestingly, we have some other posts related to this content:

Is Hydrogen the Future of Net-Zero Home Heating?: The gas industry promotes hydrogen for net-zero home heating, but uncertainties remain. It’s not a silver bullet, and cost remains a challenge.



About Narasimhan Santhanam (Narsi)

Narsi, a Director at EAI, Co-founded one of India's first climate tech consulting firm in 2008.

Since then, he has assisted over 250 Indian and International firms, across many climate tech domain Solar, Bio-energy, Green hydrogen, E-Mobility, Green Chemicals.

Narsi works closely with senior and top management corporates and helps then devise strategy and go-to-market plans to benefit from the fast growing Indian Climate tech market.

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