Electricity systems with near-zero emissions of CO2 based on wind energy and coal gasification with CCS and hydrogen storage

Emissions from electricity generation will have to be reduced to near-zero to meet targets for reducing overall greenhouse gas emissions. Variable renewable energy sources such as wind will help to achieve this goal but they will have to be used in conjunction with other flexible power plants with low-CO2 emissions. A process which would be well suited to this role would be coal gasification hydrogen production with CCS, underground buffer storage of hydrogen and independent gas turbine power generation. The gasification hydrogen production and CO2 capture and storage equipment could operate at full load and only the power plants would need to operate flexibly and at low load, which would result in substantial practical and economic advantages. This paper analyses the performances and costs of such plants in scenarios with various amounts of wind generation, based on data for power demand and wind energy variability in the UK. In a scenario with 35% wind generation, overall emissions of CO2 could be reduced by 98–99%. The cost of abating CO2 emissions from the non-wind residual generation using the technique proposed in this paper would be less than 40% of the cost of using coal-fired power plants with integrated CCS.