Low-cost Transmission, Storage, and Integration for Renewable-source Energy: Hydrogen and Ammonia C-free Fuel Systems with Underground Pipelines, Salt Caverns, and Liquid NH3 Tanks

B. Leighty
The Leighty Foundation, US

Keywords: transmission, storage, integration, systems, dispatchable, renewable

Summary:

Solar and wind are the lowest-cost renewable sources, but are intermittent. New, low-cost transmission and storage infrastructure will be needed as we convert the world's largest industry -- energy -- from fossil to renewable sources, as we progress to "run the world on renewables", as we eventually shall. We must now consider gaseous hydrogen (GH2) and anhydrous ammonia (NH3, "the other hydrogen") as complete renewables-source energy systems: renewable-source electricity is converted at the sources, both "centralized" (large, remote plants) and "distributed" (at point-of-use) to GH2 and NH3 fuels. Underground pipelines gather, transmit, distribute, and store these C-free fuels, to supply CHP and transportation markets, as well as all other energy demand. We now need to form a collaborative, of industry, academia, national labs, and non-profit study centers, to conceive, design, bid, build, and operate pilot plants by which we can test the cases and hypotheses presented above. This challenge is amenable to technical and economic modeling, which the collaborative would design, guide, fund, and interpret for infrastructure investment strategy.