In order to help remote communities in Asia-Pacific to produce cleaner and cheaper energy, ENGIE has developed a new power solution. Combining solar energy with hydrogen energy storage, the solution is capable of delivering electricity 24/7 without emitting CO2, at a competitive price.
There are several common ways of producing electricity: coal, natural gas, nuclear, wind, solar, water energy and oil. In fact, over 300 billion litres of oil are used to produce electricity annually, roughly the same amount as is needed to keep 20 percent of cars running for a year. This method of producing electricity contributes an additional 700 million tons of C02 emissions every year.
Renewable power sources, such as solar, are beginning to become more widespread, but the major drawback of solar is that after the sun sets, solar power switches off too, leaving all of us in the dark.
However the days of relying on oil for electricity are coming to an end, thanks to a solution that combines the power of solar energy and the innovation of hydrogen energy storage. Beyond meeting the day’s energy requirements, the solar photovoltaic power plant will generate surplus energy during the day that will be converted into hydrogen and stored for later use in fuel cells, which can then supply electricity at night.
The hydrogen solution allows solar panels to absorb the power of the sun, channelling it directly into electricity during the day and diverting it into stored hydrogen by using water, providing thus 24/7 electricity on demand. Since the water is reused, it’s an entirely renewable solution that is not only CO2 emission free but also cheaper than oil.
ENGIE shared this solution and others at the Innovation Morning Meeting event on the 19th of September in Paris. This event, developed in partnership with Michelin and startup Symbio FCell, was devoted to exploring innovations in the realm of hydrogen: how it can be used today, and how we can put it to use in the future.
Experts were present at the roundtable event, exploring the ways in which putting hydrogen to good use can drastically reduce the impact of the transportation sector, responsible for 23% of CO2 emissions in the world.
As a player in the green mobility market, ENGIE has already installed more than 5,000 electricity charging stations in Europe. The Group is now helping to encourage the use of hydrogen in electric mobility. Symbio FCell, a pioneering company in fuel cell technology and inventors of the first range extender for hybrid (combined electricity and hydrogen) vehicles, brought ENGIE into the ranks of its investors to develop faster hydrogen mobility.
“This project perfectly illustrates the Group’s commitment to developing hydrogen-powered transportation by teaming up with industry partners. ENGIE wants to develop green mobility and especially alternative green energies, deploying NGV as an alternative fuel, or electric mobility, with EV charging stations being installed in Europe, or innovative solutions dealing with hydrogen” says Thierry Lepercq, Executive Vice-President at ENGIE.