Wind energy has an inherent variable nature that may constraint the penetration in electricity markets (such is the case of Germany or Spain), due to integration problems for market and grid operators. Storage systems can provide a solution to this problem by allowing wind energy to be closer to conventional energies, increasing its capability to follow demand, guarantee a desired amount of energy, offering a flat curve, a more smoothened curve and so on. The ELYGRID project as a fully integrated wind & hydrogen application will allow connecting wind technology with various hydrogen related technologies like electrolyzers (production), storage systems and hydrogen to electricity converters (use) and will prepare their market entry thanks to dedicated a WP.
If wind farms can be coupled to such energy storage systems, wind energy will become available to offset the growth in network capacity. Furthermore, wind farms would become multi-purpose producers for either electricity or hydrogen as fuel in a decentralized configuration when the automotive industry enters mass production of hydrogen fuelled vehicles. In the short term, marginal but significant benefits can be obtained by improving distribution, offering reserve power and grid manageability. In any case, the goal is to enhance the value of the wind electricity. Another important market sector will be off-grid systems relying solely on renewable energy sources because of the inherent high cost of power in these systems. The utilization of water electrolyzers powered with renewable energy sources is practically nonexistent at industrial scale and there are relatively few real demonstration projects. These units have a high cost due to the lack of a developed market for hydrogen as energy carrier. In addition, the cost of the hydrogen produced is highly dependent on the costs for the electricity.