13. Pre-Investigation of Hydrogen Technologies at Large Scales for Electric Grid Load Balancing

  1. Prof. Detlef Stolten2,3 and
  2. Prof. Dr.-Ing. Viktor Scherer4
  1. Fernando Gutiérrez-Martín

Published Online: 21 JUN 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9783527673872.ch13

Transition to Renewable Energy Systems

Transition to Renewable Energy Systems

How to Cite

Gutiérrez-Martín, F. (2013) Pre-Investigation of Hydrogen Technologies at Large Scales for Electric Grid Load Balancing, in Transition to Renewable Energy Systems (eds D. Stolten and V. Scherer), Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim, Germany. doi: 10.1002/9783527673872.ch13

Editor Information

  1. 2

    Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH, IEF-3: Fuel Cells, Leo-Brandt-Straße, IEF-3: Fuel Cells, 52425 Jülich, Germany

  2. 3

    Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH, IEK-3 Institut für En. & Klimaforschung, Wilhelm-Johnen-Str., 52428 Jülich, Germany

  3. 4

    Ruhr-Universität Bochum LS f. Energieanlagen, IB 3/126 Universitätsstr. 150 LS f. Energieanlagen, IB 3/126 44780 Bochum Germany

Author Information

  1. Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Rda Valencia 3, 28012 Madrid, Spain

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 21 JUN 2013
  2. Published Print: 28 MAY 2013

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9783527332397

Online ISBN: 9783527673872



  • power management;
  • load balancing;
  • electric grids;
  • hydrogen;
  • water electrolysis


This chapter analyzes the basis of hydrogen and power integration strategies by using water electrolysis processes as a means of flexible energy storage at very large scales. It reports a preliminary study, where the scope is to describe the characteristics of current power systems (such as the generation technologies, load curves, and grid constraints), and define future scenarios of hydrogen for balancing the electric grids, considering the efficiency, economy, and ease of operation. We focus on the “Spanish case,” which is a good example of planning the transition from a power system holding large reserve capacities, high penetration of renewable energies, and limited interconnections to a more sustainable energy system capable of optimizing the volumes, the regulation modes, the utilization ratios, and the impacts of the installations. We explore a novel aspect of the “hydrogen economy,” which is based on the potential of existing power systems and the properties of hydrogen as an energy carrier, by considering the electricity generation and demand globally and determining the optimal size and operation of hydrogen production processes throughout Spain; for example, the production cost of hydrogen becomes viable for a base load scenario with 58 TWh a−1 of power surplus at €0.035 kWh−1 , and future large numbers of electrolyzer plants (50 MW) running in variable modes (1–12 kA m−2).