Eric Miller, Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies Office: Ok. So thank you. I see the slides are coming up. We’ll get started in a second here. I do want to welcome everyone. Again this is going to be an exciting day. I keep mentioning you’re all a part of history with the roll out of the first Earth Shot, Hydrogen Energy Earth Shot today. This is exciting for all of us. So it’s really fitting that we are ending the technical sessions today on this integrated energy systems coming back to the collaborative nature of hydrogen across all of DOE. So again I think we can get – I’ll start introductory remarks. I’ll have all the panelists introduce themselves and their great work and their leadership in this space when they get the mic. But before doing so I want to provide a couple of background pieces of information and some context to this panel.
So I see we’ve got the H2@Scale bubble chart up and I’ll spend a few minutes on that. I first want to start out by saying that diversification and hybridization of energy systems in the United States and across the world is happening and its inevitable. It’s inevitable and it's necessary as we strive to meet growing energy demands while also trying to – or not trying. While also achieving decarbonization and addressing climate change as at the same time addressing environmental justice according to all of the administration priorities. So it’s happening and it’s going to happen. And how does it happen really depends on the experts that know what they’re doing and how to pull it all together.
As we’ve been hearing all morning, the H2@Scale which is a really good illustration in what’s now the famous bubble chart being shown on your screen really embodies many of the key features of an integrated hybrid energy system where in this case affordable clean hydrogen really opens a lot of new integration pathways that compliment both the electric power grid as well as the natural gas grid infrastructure. And by doing so this really can help enable a clean energy future. So that’s kind of the overarching motivation between H2@Scale is this flexibility offered by hydrogen as a new component of the energy sector.
If we can go to the next slide please. Thank you. As Sunita showed in her plenary session, as Jesse described these H2@Scale projects are currently underway in communities across the country that are demonstrating some of these interesting and exciting opportunities to integrate diverse energy resources with multiple end uses. Again leveraging hydrogen as a primary vector for clean energy storage, transport and utilization in all of these spaces. Now I won’t go through all of them again but I think a key point is that the flexibility, the interesting thing and whether that’s for nuclear power, for renewable resources, fossil energy resources with CCS. Being able to couple these together towards meeting the end uses not only in the power sector but also transportation, chemicals, industry, all of the things you’ve been hearing about in the previous talks.
I think that really opens up a lot of new opportunities not only for creating economic growth but also decarbonizing the energy sector which is a really key priority. Now one of the other things I want to emphasize in this particular slide is that it’s not – now that we’re hearing about the Hydrogen Earth Shot which we’re really, really excited about. Certainly a key requirement is going to be the availability of affordable clean hydrogen at large scales. But keep in mind we really also need to develop a new workforce to take the lead in these new technologies. So that’s a big part of this as well.
If we can go to the next slide I just want to take an opportunity to emphasize how high the stakes are for our clean energy future. It’s an imperative. And the hybridization integrated energy systems in the energy generation, storage, transportation, utilization space that we’ll be talking about today they’re going to play a key role in this clean energy future. And so with that in mind we are extremely fortunate to welcome experts from across DOE to discuss not only the opportunities but some of the challenges that we can address collaboratively in this hybrid and integrated energy systems space specifically looking at what hydrogen can do to help this along. So let’s start out with Eric Hsieh who has been up since 2:00 in the morning doing international talks across the board.
Eric if we can move to the next slide please. And Eric if you can take the reins we really appreciate your joining us today. Hopefully we can keep you awake through the rest of the session. But I think it’s exciting enough it will keep us all awake. We really welcome you here to give us an overview of the energy storage grand challenge that’s been a key part of past years in the department that really have led to some of the innovations in integrated and hybrid energy systems. So Eric if you can take it away.
Eric Hsieh, Office of Electricity: Great. Thank you Eric and the feeling is mutual. I hope I keep you guys awake as well. If we could go to the next slide. So as Eric mentioned I’m wearing two hats today. I am from the Office of Electricity which handles R&D for all of the stuff in between, so all the connections from the meter to the generation, step up transformer. So if you can click three times there’s a couple things I want to highlight from the Office of Electricity’s portfolio. The first is of course the energy storage program. What OE works on is more grid scale batteries you did just hear Neha mention that we cosponsored a study on valuation and that’s with a regulatory environment section within OE’s storage program. And really once you get past the revenue meter on the storage resource side, the valuation issues become largely technology independent.
And we’re very fortunate and happy to partner with other offices like hydrogen to look at cross cutting issues like market access, regulatory issues and valuation. I also highlight the transformer resilience and advanced components program which looks at power electronics, one of the key components for interconnecting newer resources to the grid. And then the last thing I’ll highlight is the microgrids program within the Office of Electricity. So generically when you think of close coupling of resources especially with the way that hydrogen can be coproduced and be operating in conjunction with optimizing the way interactions to the grid. The kinds of generic algorithms and controls that we’re developing in the micro grids program can be largely applicable to many other resources as well. Next slide please.
The other hat that I’m bringing to this presentation is as one of the track leads for the energy storage grand challenge which was started last year by DOE and really leverages later stage commonalities across the department. So very similar to what I just described in terms of cosponsoring later stage work with a specific office the ESGC is systematizing opportunities for DOE and the industry as a whole to accelerate cross cutting initiatives later on in the technology maturation scale. So if you look at the scale for materials to devices all the way out to investment operations and value, again as you move later on into greater stages of integration and grid operations the ESGC will leverage those commonalities to _____ integration, deployment and commercialization for all technologies including bidirectional electrical chemical and thermal where hydrogen would fit and flexible generation in controllable loads which is another area where certain applications of hydrogen can also fit.
Next slide please. The way we’re doing that is a little bit novel for DOE at least at the time that we created this which is we started at the end and we identify a set of use cases for how storage could benefit a diverse selection of end users. And so there is facilitating grid decarbonization. I’ll highlight there as a very large use case for the grid as well as electrified mobility. You’ve heard descriptions of that already today. As well as facility flexibility and efficiency. And again operationally with closed coupled systems that’s one of the other use cases that would be of relevance to this group. Next slide please.,
And then the way we link these use cases back to R&D strategy is to show, to draw a very clear line from the foundational R&D work in materials or algorithms through products to the use cases. So we want to have a very direct line of sight from early stage research to how the technologies will ultimately be used. And it’s with that hope that we anticipate that this structure will help us accelerate R&D to commercialization. So with that I’ll hand it back to Eric and thank you very much for inviting me to the panel.
Eric Miller: Well, thanks Eric and please stick around. We will be back to you shortly. All right. All right. So go to the next slide please. All right. And I do want to highlight that as a result of the past year’s work in energy storage that the whole DOE came together to publish a really important online report that I encourage everyone to download. In the meantime that’s earned a hybrid what we call today task force, internal task force that really was born out of those efforts to really look at the opportunities for hybridization of integrated energy systems. One of the leads on that task force is Paul Spitsen who will now talk to you about a publication that came out of that important activity. Paul?
Paul Spitsen, Strategic Analysis: Awesome. Thanks Eric. So my name is Paul Spitsen. I work in EERE Strategic Analysis Office. We predominantly focus on ways to integrate different EERE technologies into the broader energy system. So obviously hybrids are a great example of that. So as Eric mentioned about a year ago DOE kind of organically formed this hybrid energy task force. Kind of we came together and had three major questions. So if you want to go to the next slide.
So the first question was how do you define a hybrid or integrated energy system. Kind of then what are the biggest research and analysis questions that are still kind of out there. And then are there key areas where different DOE offices could coordinate or collaborate on for future research. So kind of after assembling folks from EERE, NE, FE, Office of Electricity, the whole national lab complex, we realized one, that there’s a ton of existing work across the complex on hybrid energy systems and also there’s still a lot of work left to be done. So kind of going to the actual report kind of one of the first steps we took was trying to think about what’s the scope of a hybrid energy system. And so the way kind of the organization parameters we built were first it has to be compromised of at least two generation storage or conversion technologies. Second it has to have some sort of overarching control structure. But it could be collocated with essentially separate subsystems. They could be virtually connected or could be kind of fully integrated both virtually and physically. Also that there’s kind of a wide range of applications for these hybrid energy systems. So they could be in front of the meter. They could be behind the meter. They could be part of a micro grid or they could be an off grid application.
Kind of in the last piece is that there’s also a variety of kind of products from a hybrid energy system. So it could be anything from electricity to heat to hydrogen to syn fuels to oxygen, kind of the full spectrum of potential outputs. But what the ultimate objective is that in order to truly be a hybrid and be of value you have to achieve some sort of cost savings or performance improvement relative to the stand alone systems. Otherwise there’s no point in even combining these things together. And so with that I also kind of highlight that there’s like a number of existing DOE hybrid projects. So you have flex power in EERE. You have CSDs plus thermal energy technology in the solar office. You have nuclear renewable hybrid energy plus low and high temperature electrolyzers that’s EERE and nuclear office. There’s also hybridizing _____ thermal generators in the fossil energy office.
And so if you go to the next slide the report kind of essentially targeted three areas for future collaboration on hybrid research. So the first area is going to be kind of in this markets in policy and regulatory space. For most things is that we need to understand kind of where the markets are today and where they’re going in the future in order to kind of optimally design hybrid systems. And then also we need to think about how these systems are going to be integrated into the existing planning processes. So how are they going to be interconnected? Kind of what’s their impact on transmission, things like that. On the valuation side obviously you want to provide value. So one way to figure out how do you measure value? Kind of what services can the system provide? Do they have complimentary characteristics? Kind of what are the different cost energies? Sources of value so again kind of like what markets they can participate in, what products can they offer.
And then lastly it’s how can you estimate the value. So thinking plant versus grid optimization. Are there retrofit opportunities? Can they be used to mitigate forecasting errors or improve resilience? And then lastly on the technology development side we thought of how do we figure out what the next level of controls on development and testing are? Kind of what the facilities that we need to do that? How do we think about plant level design and optimization? Where are the areas for component testing and especially for things that might be synergistic across multiple technology platforms? Can we identify key demonstration projects that might benefit multiple DOE offices? And the last barrier is like obviously the enhanced convergent strategy so thinking about as far as broader kind of energy systems. How do we meet our climate goals and kind of how do we imagine future converging processes in order to get there? And so with that I hope that you all can download the hybrid opportunity report. And again we look forward to continued collaboration across DOE on hybrid energy systems.
Eric Miller: Great. Thanks Paul. If we go to the next slide. As luck would have it we have DOE leadership in four of the case studies that Paul just described. So with that in mind let’s first introduce Jian Fu from the Wind Energy Technologies Office who will talk to us about some of the opportunities with wind specifically and a little bit about the flex power project. Thanks Jian.
Jian Fu, Wind Energy Technologies Office: Thanks Eric for the introduction. Good afternoon everyone. This is Jian from the wind office. In the wind office we have – oh next page please. Yeah. In wind office we have five programs to address R&D challenges for three wind types, land based wind, offshore wind and distributed wind. US wind resource is vast and it is expected to play a major role to achieve the administration’s decarbonization goal. Accelerating wind deployment requires R&D investment to aggressively reduce costs, to advance in manufacturing supply chain workforce, to address siting and market barriers and resolving grid and transmission with storage and other technologies. For the system integration program that I lead, the program goal is to fund R&D that ensures large amount of wind can be connected to the transmission grid.
We also want to ensure our system with high amount of wind can be reliably operates, grid services can be provided by wind and hybrid wind systems. We also want to make sure that further want to further reduce cost and enhance performance of wind power electronics and the associated balance of the plant. A lot of system operational challenges with larger _____ wind are associated with the wind energy variability and uncertainty. There are many different approaches to address it such as improving wind forecast, increasing system flexibility by responsive load and deploying grid tied battery systems. We understand that wind and energy storage coupling together can not only smooth out the variability and reduce uncertainty but share the transmission infrastructure and reduce wind curtailment. These are the main drivers when we started funding a wind hybrid project. Next page please.
FlexPower is an ongoing project looking into wind hybrid with wide range of technologies. It is a GMLC project jointly funded by wind office, hydrogen fuel cell technologies office, water officer and the office of electricity. This graphic shows all components that will be part of the FlexPower hybrid plant. This hybrid plant has a combination of several renewable generations, wind, PV and hydro power. It also has a wide range of storage technologies with various temporal characteristics to offset the variability and uncertainty of renewable power. This includes a fast responsive ultra-capacity and fly wheels, lithium ion battery and flow battery, pumped hydro storage and the hydrogen fuel cell as long duration storage. FlexPower project now is halfway through. It has almost completed the characterization of each component and it is developing plant level optimization controls that enable for dispatchability of hybrid plant.
The demonstration will happen later this year and early of next year at NREL’s Flat Irons campus to leverage the existing mega scale physical assets and upcoming new facilities including CGI number two and future _____ scale hydrogen facilities. In FlexPower we modeled a full cycle of hydrogen from electrolysis process to fuel cell for electricity generation. Right now the project team is establishing high speed datalink to connect two more remote hydrogen facilities, one at NREL ISIF and the other at Idaho National Lab for those facilities to participate in the hardware in a loop demonstration. For wind office also wind is uniquely positioned to produce hydrogen through water splitting electrolysis especially when clean hydrogen can be produced cost effectively using otherwise curtailed offshore wind.
Hydrogen has other uses other than electricity such as to produce renewable fuels. When and how much offshore wind electricity should be used to generate hydrogen are dependent on many factors including wholesale electricity market price and commodity market price. FlexPower is considering those factors in designing the optimal controls. There are many future opportunities to work R&D working offshore wind and hydrogen facilities. We are looking forward for these future opportunities. Back to you Eric.
Eric Miller: Perfect. Thanks Jian. Great. And let’s move to the next slide and while we’re on the renewable utilization theme we’ll look at solar energy. And I think one of the areas that is emerging of importance that maybe is under looked often is thermal integration. I think we’ll see his definitely in the solar space and we’ll come back to it I believe in the nuclear space. But with that I’d like to introduce Avi Shultz, the program manager for concentrated solar power at the solar energy technologies office. So Avi you can take it away.
Avi Shultz, Solar Energy Technologies Office: Great. Thanks Eric for the introduction and thanks everyone for having me here. So if you go to the next slide so as Eric said I’m the program manager for concentrating solar thermal power or CSP which is I think I’m on this panel because CSP is inherently something of a hybrid technology. By decoupling collection of solar energy through a solar field of mirrors, heating up some fluid that is then readily stored through thermal energy storage that can then be dispatched on demand. So what CSP really is is a source of solar thermal energy so renewable thermal energy that can be delivered to either an industrial process, a chemical process or most typical to date at least a turbine to generate electricity as needed really 24 hours a day. And there are CSP plants out there that have been built with even up to 17 hours of thermal energy storage that are commercially deployed today that can essentially deliver electricity 24 hours a day.
There are two flavors I’ll say of commercial CSP technology that are currently commercially available delivering heat at either 400 degrees Celsius or a more recent tower configurations like the cartoon shown up here are operating about 565 degree Celsius. We’re currently in our program working on research to even push the temperature of these systems up even higher, up to above 700 degrees Celsius both to improve the efficiency of the power production side of the CSP plant as well as to increase the flexibility of the range of industrial and chemical processes that CSP can deliver heat to. So all of what I just described means that the design of a CSP plant is intrinsically an exercise in hybridization. How do you want to use the thermal energy? How do you want to use the electric energy? And what processes are you delivering that heat or electricity to? Next slide please.
One thing we’ve been really thinking about in our program heavily recently is not just how do we store energy on the daily diurnal cycle to manage dispatch of electricity at daily peaks. But how do we use the thermal energy that we’re collecting in a CSP plant to store renewable energy, solar thermal energy at very long durations to really be able to affect seasonal mismatches between renewable energy resources and the energy needs. And really what that means – and of course the reason I’m here at the hydrogen AMR is because you really likely need to do that in the form of chemical bonds. Whether that’s hydrogen or other chemical bonds is something that we’re looking into in both options. But what that means as kind of shown on this diagram is you can have your direct thermal energy storage system where you say typically have tanks of molten salt.
And you can have as part of that plant and in varying configurations and sizings thereof you can have an indirect thermal energy storage system where you’re using that heat to directly produce hydrogen or other chemical systems. And I’m just showing on the right side of this slide just a couple of examples of projects that we currently have looking at different ways to do this. So for example Arizona State University is looking at actually designing a CSP plant with multiple different tiers of duration of thermal energy storage, both conventional tanks, molten salt tanks, a high energy density metal oxide based on a chemical system as well as using that thermal energy to produce hydrogen directly for very long duration storage. You can also imagine systems like what I showed here at Michigan State University is working on where you can actually think about alternative kinds of long duration, long lived chemical fuels here based on a metal oxide based system that is thermodynamically reversible and a solid fuel that’s readily stored.
You can also think about variations of that metal oxide system. And we’re looking at this in our program where that metal oxide isn’t just something that you can cycle back and forth but can actually be catalytically active again for hydrogen production and that’s something that we think is really interesting. Again intrinsically incorporating the thermal energy storage into the solid catalytic material that you’re modified via the solar thermal energy. So with that I think I’ll stop and turn it over to the next.
Eric Miller: All right. Thanks Avi. All right. Let’s go to the next slide. I think we’ll keep on the theme of hybrid systems that have potential to utilize both electricity heat. We’ll turn it over to our former colleague who has been highlighted quite a bit today, Jason Marcinkoski who knows really well the hydrogen space and really the opportunities to bring to the nuclear office program. So thank you Jason for joining us and we look forward to hearing from you.
Jason Marcinkoski, Office of Nuclear Energy: Thanks Eric. I manage nuclear energy’s integrated energy systems program as well as the light water reactor sustainability programs, flexible plant operation and generation pathway. Both of these areas are under the office of reactors and advanced reactor deployment led by ____. As Jesse said I recently moved to the nuclear offices from the hydrogen program where I was responsible for both the high temperature electrolysis testing and the use of electrolyzers to develop the grid as well as developing hydrogen truck targets. So and more recently I worked in collaboration with nuclear and hydrogen. The nuclear office has been a great partner to the hydrogen program and vice versa. Next slide please.
If you didn’t see Allison Hunt’s presentation earlier today I recommend checking it out to see the benefits of current and future nuclear energy. I won’t have time to cover that in this presentation. In integrated energy systems we emphasize three areas, thermal energy storage to provide flexible capacity to the grid, integrating industrial and chemical plants including hydrogen and also carbon utilization and heat export which can be expanded with the development of small scale micro reactors that can be collocated with more applications. As Allison mentioned we successfully selected four projects that integrate hydrogen production with nuclear plants. These projects really break down the technical barriers and address the regulatory process for integrating electrolysis of nuclear plants. Most of the hydrogen produced in these smaller scale demos will be for on site use. However the larger vision for nuclear hydrogen production is twofold. First we want to expand all of clean nuclear energy beyond the grid into the transportation and industrial sectors. Second by reducing hydrogen production during peak demand on the grid we can add grid scale flexibility to nuclear’s clean firm capacity. This relies on hydrogen for what we call one way energy storage. Next slide please.
Through DOE’s advanced reactor demonstration program we are on track to provide the next generation of clean nuclear energy by the end of this decade, carbon free electricity 24/7 365 days a year. This is the Natrium sodium-cooled fast reactor and it makes about 345 megawatts nominal clean electrical power and it’s the first nuclear power plant to incorporate a large scale thermal energy storage system that flexes up to 500 megawatts for five and a half hours to accommodate _____ in the availability of solar and wind on the grid. Natrium’s energy conversion technology leverages the existing molten salt technology from the concentrated solar power industry. It also uses a combined cycle of gas turbine technology of fossil plants. And last week the governor of Wyoming and Terrapower announced siting at a retired coal plant to provide jobs and leverage existing energy infrastructure. While this integrated system focuses on thermal storage, hydrogen generation is also being considered with high temperature heat available for steam electrolysis. Next slide.
These images show what the future of nuclear and hydrogen can look like if we produce hydrogen from nuclear micro reactors. These notional specifications show how an onsite 60-megawatt micro reactor could power a 12 position fueling station that could service over 500 hydrogen long haul trucks per day. This is just one way we envision the nuclear future. In 2023 DOE plans to start operating Marvel, a nuclear test platform for micro reactors. And by the end of this year Magnet which is the non-nuclear micro reactor emulator will be integrated with the high temperature steam electrolysis test facility and real time grid simulator at the Idaho National Laboratory. In this example we see how systems integration can eliminate the large cost of transporting hydrogen to a fueling station while realizing the full potential of clean reliable nuclear energy. These are just two examples, this and the Natrium reactor of many high impact integrated energy systems that we’re looking at today. We’re working more closely than ever with our colleagues in other offices to advance US energy systems with a holistic perspective on all of the technologies available to us. Thanks.
Eric Miller: All right. Can we go to the next slide please? All right. We’ll round off our panelists with Bhima Sastri who is in the office of fossil energy is a leader in the systems integration field. Bhima could you take it away. And then at the end of that we’ll come back to some opportunities for broader collaboration discussion amongst all the offices.
Bhima Sastri, Office of Fossil Energy: Thank you Eric. I really appreciate it. It’s good to come on last too. So I’m Bhima Sastri. I’m the director of cross cutting R&D and systems integration in the office of fossil energy and carbon management. I’d like to stay on this slide and just speak a little bit about what’s been covered so far and the perspectives that have been provided by all the programs. There’s one thing that stands out. We in the office of fossil energy and carbon management we look, we have traditionally looked at large scale generation which are remotely located from consumers, centralized control structures, minimal feedback, limited energy storage and passive loads. That’s the kind of thing that was traditional. I think what we’re heard today from all the program managers who spoke about the programs that they’re managing. It’s very clean that the US electric generation mix has changed dramatically. We have a lot of increased generation from highly flexible natural gas. We have rapid deployment of end penetration of variable renewable sources. Solar we covered that and wind by Jian. And there’s decreased generation from traditional base load resources.
I mean that’s what’s happened over the last one decade. And the other changes that are in the works basically are what Eric mentioned right at the beginning, deployment of energy storage technologies and a greater use of digital and communication technologies and control of power systems. So what all of this means is that we need to start thinking of new ways of dispatchability, flexibility and reliability that offer potential for more optimized, cost effective modern energy sector from fuel generation to deliver this load. And the office of fossil energy and carbon management is undertaking R&D projects to address challenges and promote innovations in integrated energy systems, something that Jason touched upon. Basically our office goal is to deploy flexible capacity to the electric grid with lost cost thermal energy storage systems, produce transportation fuels such as hydrogen, ammonia and heat from industrial applications and expand the use of carbon free energy.
We are working with all the R&D projects to decarbonize the electric sector by 2035. And last but not least we have been conventionally directed to work with all the offices that have spoken so far to put together an integrated energy systems initiative. And we’re working with DOE wide grid modernization initiative and the energy storing grand challenge that is going to come out and trying to put together this congressionally directed report.
If you go to the next slide I just have one slide and basically shows the IES that’s the integration systems effort to enable new technologies. What this slide shows is the electric – the 4.2 billion kilowatt hours coming from so many different sources and obviously fossil fuels dominate that. There’s a lot of them coming from nuclear too which is a base load type of operations. But others are coming along. And we need to be looking at ways to integrate all of these. And recent studies have highlighted opportunities for such integrated energy systems which basically incorporate diverse energy sources that you see here and in environmentally sustainable, cost effective and reliable way of generating power and delivering it to consumers.
So what we believe and what’s shown on the right, the tightly coupled hybrid energy systems basically is a system that enables more efficient utilization of multiple feedstocks be it nuclear, fossil, any of those. And it creates services of increased coordination and direct hybrid duration basically allowing dynamic optimization of the grid which of supply and demand basically. And this is such a deployment and development of integrated energy systems we believe will enable the deep decarbonization of the US economy and revitalize industry and manufacturing as well. With hat I’ll stop and we’ll probably take some questions when the panel starts. Right.
Eric Miller: Thanks Bhima. And if we could actually move to the next slide. Thanks. We’ll have one overarching question. I think this panel and Bhima you brought it back to the theme of the day that we started with from Secretary _____ all the way through to the presentations that we’ve heard that the hydrogen shot is really office of new opportunity. We’ve all worked together quite well across the DOE offices in many spaces including hydrogen. But I think with this new incentive of the hydrogen shot we’ll be seeing each other even more. So I look forward to it. But I think since we’ve got about ten minutes left here I want to pass the mic backwards. We’ll start with you Bhima again on the question. Where do you see some of these major? I mean certainly challenges but really opportunities for collaboration across our offices in terms of supporting this hydrogen shot and the types of exciting research that we do together. Let’s start with you Bhima.
Bhima Sastri: Yeah. I’ll be brief. Our office is again when we say hydrogen the thing is it’s a storage medium. It’s a medium for generating power. It’s got a whole bunch of things that we in our office are looking at hydrogen production on a large scale. I mean the graphic that I showed about the kind of electricity that is needed for the country. You need to generate hydrogen. And traditionally fossil fuels have been the biggest resource for generating hydrogen through SMR. And that’s been the traditionally way of getting hydrogen. We are looking at new ways of producing hydrogen through gasification of biomass plastic, coal waste. And talk about blue hydrogen and there’s also green hydrogen initiatives.
And I think I believe that integrating that and then the fact that we’re looking at this integrated energy systems report and the work that we’re working with other offices, NE and solar and other offices clearly tells us that the path forward really is something that we’re going to have a mix of all of this and that hydrogen production is going to play a role in our office is not a big thing to say. Not just in hydrogen production but also in terms of how we’re going to use and clean up fossil fuels by 20235.
Eric Miller: Great. Thanks Bhima. Jason, do you want to take the mic? And you’re on mute.
Jason Marcinkoski: Sure. I’ll be a little more specific in my response I guess. I’m really excited about what Neha just mentioned in one of her analysis drop in synthetic fuels. We can leverage the hydrogen and heat produced from nuclear plants now that we have hydrogen produced from nuclear plants or soon will be. And there are already processes that can work for making the syn fuels. We can get CO2 from nearby ethanol plants or natural gas picking plants can even direct their capture system. The big advantage here is that we can leverage technologies developed in biomass and fossil energy programs. The massive fueling infrastructure that already exists today and the massive vehicle fleet that already exists today but also for the past century. This includes also technologies from the vehicle technologies office such as plug in hybrids and hybrid vehicles that can more than double the fleet fuel economy.
On top of that the drop in syn fuels would have at least net zero emissions. And if we consider a 20 year plus timeframe to turn over the vehicle fleet or deploy an alternate fueling or charging infrastructure or to provide a clean electricity generation grid to power our electric cars, projects like this could significantly accelerate the path to decarbonization providing net zero or zero carbon fuel into the existing infrastructure and vehicle fleet all while we support the build up of hydrogen production to scale up hydrogen stations and fuel cell vehicles over the next several decades. It will be challenging. We would be competing head to head with low cost oil so we have a lot of work to do to reduce the cost of manufacturing, constructing these plants and we have to learn how to operate them more efficiently and leverage the places where we can take the existing processes and inject nuclear hear into those to help make them cleaner and more efficient.
Eric Miller: Great. Thanks Jason. Avi, pass the mic to you.
Avi Shultz: Yeah. Similar to Jason I’m really excited by the opportunity that CSP has to deliver renewable heat to existing industrial processes. We know that looking forward the supply of non-emitting heat to existing thermal processes is one of the big challenges with decarbonization of the full energy sector. And we’ve all been talking about processes that are largely thermally driven. And CSP has that potential now to deliver a relatively high temperature, 465 degrees C and we’re working on technologies to go even higher. I think that’s particularly interesting as we look at hydrogen specifically because of the opportunity for processes like high temperature electrolysis of water to generate hydrogen which has the potential of being significantly more efficient than conventional low temperature electrolysis and therefor potentially lower cost hydrogen. And I’m really excited about the potential of CSP to couple again both to the thermal and the electrical parts of that process. I think there’s a lot of potential there. I’m certainly looking forward to working with Eric and his team on that.
Eric Miller: All right. Thanks Avi. Jian? And you’re on mute. My favorite expression.
Jian Fu: Thank you. The wind office, hydrogen can be produced by land based wind, offshore wind and distributed wind. As I said offshore wind is well positioned now and especially with recent DOE BOI and commerce announcements to expedite the offshore wind deployment. Europe is ahead of us in offshore wind and hydrogen demonstration. US we are playing catchup especially in the area of the design _____ and hardware development and demonstration of also wind and hydrogen. And also we are also interested in hydrogen not just for regenerating electricity but also to produce _____ fuel for other industrial process and maybe to generate through some kind of hydrogen renewable fuel turbine. So I think there are just a lot of opportunities and even to collaborate within DOE offices and collaborate with industries as well.
Eric Miller: Good. Thank you. And let’s turn it to Paul.
Paul Spitsen: Hi Eric. So I think the big opportunity from the analytical space is really thinking about how hydrogen fits into the bigger picture essentially as an energy medium that can go directly to the power sector and be combusted or be a fuel for various other things. And so I think the big collaborative opportunity for DOE is really thinking about how do we build these system level analytical frameworks and system level tools to really truly understand kind of the feedbacks across the sector that hydrogen can have. And how do we build them into our larger system level analysis so that we can really kind of map out the optimal pathway to get to these high level decarbonization both by 2035 and 2050. So lots of work in the future to be done across all of DOE.
Eric Miller: Great. Thanks Paul. And let’s come back to Eric who we kept awake I think. Maybe you can get the last word on our panel and we’ll wrap it up and yeah. thanks Eric.
Eric Hsieh: Sure. I’ll echo Paul’s comments about the system level analysis. I think one of the exciting things about hydrogen is the optionality that it will give the power system as a high quality fuel that is readily storable, very stable and potentially has its own transportation network. You have the potential to really give system operators and planners new degrees of flexibility in how we operate and even plan and invest in the power grid itself. And so as a medium that has its own independent values as well as value to the grid I think there’s really rich analysis there that I’m looking forward to pursuing. And certainly a lot of opportunity in the way it gives us pathways to very high levels of decarbonization on the grid.
Eric Miller: That’s good. Thanks Eric. And I’d like to –
Bhima Sastri: Eric.
Eric Miller: Yeah. Go ahead Bhima.
Bhima Sastri: This is Bhima. Just one thing I’d also like to mention is that cutting across divisions, solar and nuclear we’re working with them and EERE and NE basically on looking at new power cycles too. And I think one of hem is a super critical CO2 power cycle which allows higher efficiencies of electricity generation. And I think that’s – those are areas that definitely will contribute towards what the integrated system will look like in the future in terms of recovery and such.
Eric Miller: Yeah. Brings up a really good point. We have to be looking at what can we do now? What is low hanging fruit to move this ball forward. But what does the future really hold and I think that’s what’s in our mind as well. Looking at these high temperature materials and high temperature systems we’ve been thinking about this – I mean if someone really has those systems that can operate at 700 degrees that’s a game changer as well, right? In terms of producing, efficiently producing hydrogen. So looking – this is why it’s so important for all of us to be working together to understand these opportunities and to make them happen both in the near term opportunities as well as the longer term ones. So I think that’s kind of the theme of today. I think it really encapsulates how hydrogen really is an integrator and enabler for integrated and hybrid energy systems.
I think hydrogen shot or the hydrogen Earth shot is exciting and I think we’ll be seeing a lot more of each other as the days move forward. And with that I want to give my special thanks to the panelists here who are really experts in their fields and spent time with us at our AMR. We really appreciate it. I don’t know if there’s any virtual clapping aloud. I’m going to give you an actual clap. But thank you to that. The next item on our agenda will be also quite exciting. That will be the awards ceremony. And for that I will be turning it over to Sunita and to Shawna to initiate that part of our program.
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