Using Hydrogen to Increase Your Renewable Assets

Suppliers of green electricity have a unique problem– they have little to no control over the natural forces that drive power creation, and therefore their business. Variations in the weather can mean that on days of peak demand when electricity need is highest, there is no wind to turn turbines, or the sun is blocked out by clouds so photovoltaic panels are not generating electricity.

These variations can sometimes be enough to stop investment in green energy farms. However, there is an alternate scenario which also occurs on a regular basis. In times of low demand, when electricity need is lowest, the wind is blowing strongly and the sun is shining; electricity generation is high. Without somewhere to store this energy, it would be completely wasted.

Storage of the energy in the form of hydrogen is the solution that electricity investors are looking for. This solution allows energy farm operators to get the most out of their investment and ensure that no energy is wasted.

Why Hydrogen?

Hydrogen gas produced using renewable electricity is known as green hydrogen. Hydrogen is a popular choice for energy storage as it can be compressed to a small volume, has a high energy density, and a high stability.

Green hydrogen, formed during times of low demand, can then be stored until a moment of peak demand, at which point the energy in the hydrogen can be fed back into the grid. This flexibility means that renewable electricity generators will be able to provide consistent energy, and consistent income, despite the inconsistent weather. Green hydrogen makes it easy for electricity suppliers to respond to the grid with as little energy wasted as possible.

For those in industry, green hydrogen is coined: the catalyst that transitions the “as is state” to the “to be energy output goal.”

A Comprehensive Solution

New developments in technology allow the green electricity produced by solar, hydroelectric or wind farms to produce hydrogen gas. The technology used to achieve this uses Proton Exchange Membranes (PEMs). Using this technology the excess energy created during times of peak electricity production, which could be lost if demand is not high enough, can be stored in the form of green hydrogen and saved for when electricity demand is higher than supply.

Green hydrogen can be used to either drive a gas turbine (via combustion) or in fuel cells to generate more electricity. This allows green electricity operators to produce more electricity in times of high demand, at peak rates, meaning no opportunity to make a profit is lost.

Green hydrogen has many different uses, key examples include:

  • Power-to-gas
  • Power-to-industry
  • Methanisation
  • Renewable energy storage
  • Hydrogen Fueling

Nel can provide a wide range of economical systems for the generation of hydrogen. Their reliable and safe systems use a PEM method to supply hydrogen in volumes of between 200 cc per minute to 400 Nm3 per hour and more.

The M Series PEM Electrolysers from Nel Hydrogen are designed to supply hydrogen on a megawatt scale.

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Nel Hydrogen.

For more information on this source, please visit Nel Hydrogen.


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