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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Hydrogen and electricity: Parallels, interactions,and convergence


A future hydrogen economy would interact with and influence the electricity grid in numerous ways. This paper presents several concepts for understanding a hydrogen economy in the context of the co-evolution with the electricity sector and lays out some of the opportunities and challenges. H2 and electricity are complementary energy carriers that have distinct characteristics, which lead to more or less utility in different applications. Despite their differences, it is possible to understand a future hydrogen economy using some of the same techniques as electricity system analysis. Hydrogen pathways will lead to additional electric demands that will influence the structure, operation and emissions in the electric sector. Examples of convergence between these sectors include a number of options for H2 and electricity co-production and interconversion.

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