Hydrogen: A Solution to Decarbonise the Energy System
Hydrogen as an enabler of sectoral integration
Introduction
Hydrogen’s unique properties make it a powerful energy transition enabler, with benefits for both the energy system and end-use applications.
The role of Hydrogen in decarbonising our current energy system

Europe is moving towards a low-carbon energy system with the ambitious goal of a more sustainable society. With this objective in mind, hydrogen will be a key component of Europe’s decarbonised future. It offers a clean, sustainable and flexible option for converting renewable electricity into an energy carrier based on use in mobility, hearing and industrial applications. As a ‘gaseous form of electricity’, it is an enabler of sectoral integration.

The diagram below illustrates the seven roles that hydrogen plays in the energy transition:

Variability and intermittency characterise renewable energy generation. Periods of non-consumption-oriented renewable energy production are often managed by reducing renewable energy sources because electricity cannot be sold at the time of generation. Hydrogen offers valuable advantages in this context, as it avoids CO2 and particles emissions, can be deployed on a large scale and can be made available everywhere through sectoral integration.
Hydrogen as an enabler of sectoral integration
The ability of hydrogen to access and integrate each sector of the energy system opens the opportunity for deploying and utilising renewables to a much greater extent. Hydrogen systems can be implemented within the electricity grid utilising contractual obligations, guarantees of origin, by providing energy storage ancillary services for managing renewables in electricity grids and direct combination with renewable power sources. The versatility of hydrogen enables these sectors to be integrated and to contribute to Europe’s energy transition. The schematic below highlights the integration between the different sectors:

Source: IEA, 2019

Source: ARUP
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