Limited impact of hydrogen co-firing on prolonging fossil-based power generation under low emissions scenarios

Oshiro, K. & Fujimori, S. ORCID: (2024). Limited impact of hydrogen co-firing on prolonging fossil-based power generation under low emissions scenarios. Nature Communications 15 (1) e1778. 10.1038/s41467-024-46101-5.

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Climate change mitigation generally require rapid decarbonization in the power sector, including phase-out of fossil fuel-fired generators. Given recent technological developments, co-firing of hydrogen or ammonia, could help decarbonize fossil-based generators, but little is known about how its effects would play out globally. Here, we explore this topic using an energy system model. The results indicate that hydrogen co-firing occurs solely in stringent mitigation like 1.5 °C scenarios, where around half of existing coal and gas power capacity can be retrofitted for hydrogen co-firing, reducing stranded capacity, mainly in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries and Asia. However, electricity supply from co-firing generators is limited to about 1% of total electricity generation, because hydrogen co-firing is mainly used as a backup option to balance the variable renewable energies. The incremental fuel cost of hydrogen results in lower capacity factor of hydrogen co-fired generators, whereas low-carbon hydrogen contributes to reducing emission cost associated with carbon pricing. While hydrogen co-firing may play a role in balancing intermittency of variable renewable energies, it will not seriously delay the phase-out of fossil-based generators.

Item Type: Article
Research Programs: Energy, Climate, and Environment (ECE)
Energy, Climate, and Environment (ECE) > Sustainable Service Systems (S3)
Energy, Climate, and Environment (ECE) > Transformative Institutional and Social Solutions (TISS)
Depositing User: Luke Kirwan
Date Deposited: 06 Mar 2024 08:46
Last Modified: 06 Mar 2024 08:46

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