Electricity and hydrogen are two key low-carbon energy vectors to decarbonise energy used in the transport sector, space heating and industries. In the UK energy supply system of the future, both vectors may be generated in the same location: in low-carbon CCS industrial clusters with a common infrastructure. We investigate the integration of the process of hydrogen production with electricity generation from the same fuel source natural gas. The objective is to achieve cost reduction via the sharing of sub-components of the CO2 capture process and via flexibility to cope with variations of both vectors in demand over time.
Future CCS clusters with a shared infrastructure for natural gas supply, electricity grid connections and transport and geological storage of CO2 are natural locations for both decarbonised H2 production with methane steam reforming and decarbonised gas-fired power generation. This work will investigate the scope for cost reductions through synergistic design and operation of these H2 and electricity generation plants with CCS. Potential benefits include shared sub-systems and heat integration. Linking hydrogen and power production with CCS also may help to overcome adverse effects of short- and long-term variability in demand for both products (e.g., Leeds H21 Citygate project). Relevant modelling work will be undertaken using gPROMS, based on recently developed modelling approaches. It is envisaged that, if this exploratory study indicates that the novel approaches being developed show promise, it may lead to more detailed work and collaboration with potential users. These results will feed forward into WP AC5.