The feasibility of distributed hydrogen production from renewable energy sources and the financial contribution from UK motorists on environmental grounds

Geoffrey D. Southall, Anshuman Khare

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Decarbonisation of the transport sector in the UK would serve to meet climate change obligations through greenhouse gas reductions, reduced pollution levels and an improvement of energy security through a reduced dependency on imported crude oil and refined fuels. Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles have the potential to fulfil these aims, more so when the hydrogen used to power them is produced from renewable energy sources. The electrolytic production of hydrogen at the point of sale eliminates the need for hydrogen distribution costs and promotes sustainability but the business case is dependent upon the production of hydrogen at an acceptable cost to the public. This study calculates the hydrogen production cost using varying capacity hybrid wind/solar PV systems and associated hydrogen generation, storage and dispensing technologies in supplying a scenario population exposed to average UK weather conditions. It examines if the environmental benefits are evident through the UK car-owning public's willingness to pay for a cleaner transportation fuel. Whilst the respondents' concerns for the environment are strong, a high degree of sensitivity over fuel pricing remains. In spite of this, the projected demand for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles through to 2030 and the use of renewable energy tariffs shows that certain configurations of hydrogen production infrastructure are still financially viable. The possibility exists for the application of fuel taxation whilst still maintaining price parity with conventional hydrocarbon fuels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)134-149
Number of pages16
JournalSustainable Cities and Society
Volume26
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct. 2016

Keywords

  • Clean transportation fuel
  • Hydrogen fuel cell
  • Hydrogen production infrastructure
  • Renewable energy
  • Transport sector

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'The feasibility of distributed hydrogen production from renewable energy sources and the financial contribution from UK motorists on environmental grounds'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this