A recent study from Stanford University proposes a transformative approach to global energy systems, indicating that the integration of hydrogen and battery storage could significantly facilitate the transition to clean energy.
Published in open access journal iScience, the report assesses the feasibility and economic implications of transitioning 145 countries to 100% renewable electricity grids.
Speaking with pv magazine USA, Mark Z. Jacobson, the lead author and a professor at Stanford, emphasized the pivotal role of electrification across all sectors as a first step, citing a 38% reduction in energy demand due to the efficiency of electricity over combustion.
As a second step, he underscored the significance of supplying electricity solely from wind, water, and solar sources alongside storage solutions.
This approach not only eliminates the need for fossil fuel extraction and refinement but also contributes to an 11.3% reduction in global energy consumption.
The study forecasts a substantial 61% decrease in annual energy costs for countries embracing clean energy solutions.
“The results provide countries with concrete evidence and the confidence that 100% clean, renewable grids not only lower costs but are also just as reliable as the current grid system,” Jacobson was quoted as saying.
The research utilizes sophisticated computer modeling to analyze various scenarios, highlighting the role of hydropower, batteries, and green hydrogen in ensuring grid reliability.
While hydrogen storage offers benefits in certain regions by absorbing excess electricity from renewables, it presents challenges such as upfront costs.
However, Jacobson highlighted the technology’s large cost benefits and suggested that policymakers prioritize investments in battery storage and green hydrogen over alternative approaches like carbon capture and non-hydrogen electro-fuels.