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New Black & Veatch eBook Explores Hydrogen’s Role in Long-Duration Energy Storage

Energy experts examine current battery technologies, hydrogen energy storage to overcome renewable intermittency

Unprecedented amounts of renewable energy are being integrated onto the grid, but with intermittency a major barrier to large-scale decarbonization, the world needs cost-effective long-duration energy storage. Hydrogen 2022: The Road to Energy Storage – a new eBook from Black & Veatch – looks at the pros and cons of current battery energy storage technologies and explores hydrogen’s role as an economically viable, technically scalable long-duration energy storage solution.

Available as a free download, Hydrogen 2022: The Road to Energy Storage explores the role of hydrogen energy storage, which can both complement and serve as a reliable alternative to batteries to solve the intermittency issue in a fast, economical manner. Hydrogen surpasses the physical limitations of current mineral-based battery technologies to provide essentially infinite duration storage and backup power. Hydrogen prices are becoming more competitive going forward, while “green” hydrogen, produced with renewable energy, offers a carbon-free solution.

Black & Veatch experts also examine traditional battery technologies – from lithium-ion batteries, which control more than 90 percent of global market share but are constrained to eight hours of storage – to medium-duration energy storage options such as iron-air batteries and zinc-ion batteries, which promise to store multiple days’ worth of energy. 

Long-duration energy storage is the key that will help unlock global decarbonization,” said Jason Rowell, director of new energy solutions with Black & Veatch. “With viable options such as iron and zinc batteries now scaling, stakeholders should be looking to create flexible, complementary systems that can evolve as technologies advance. With the potential to store unlimited hours of energy, hydrogen would enable seasonal shifting, helping to ensure the success of a carbon-free global energy future.”

The eBook also outlines the necessary next steps to move hydrogen energy storage technologies forward. First, these projects need to be demonstrated and scaled, helping to lower cost. Second, true adoption will require regulation changes and government incentives to speed the transition. In the next five to seven years, the market should expect to see a rapid increase in the viability, scalability and availability of long-duration storage solutions.

“We are in a period of exploration and development as the market tries to understand where hydrogen technology stands right now,” said Frank Jakob, director of advanced energy storage solutions with Black & Veatch. “With traditional battery energy storage and hydrogen energy storage on the table, we’ll soon arrive a future where energy can be balanced and managed, enabling tomorrow’s net-zero future.”

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Editor’s Notes:
About Black & Veatch

Black & Veatch is a 100-percent employee-owned global engineering, procurement, consulting and construction company with a more than 100-year track record of innovation in sustainable infrastructure. Since 1915, we have helped our clients improve the lives of people around the world by addressing the resilience and reliability of our most important infrastructure assets. Our revenues in 2021 exceeded US$3.3 billion. Follow us on www.bv.com and on social media.

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