CHBC Releases White Paper on Power-to-Gas and Hydrogen Energy Storage

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Document outlines high potential energy storage technology option able to provide renewable zero-emission baseload power, fuel, and heat for California

Los Angeles, CA – October 8, 2015 – Today, on National Hydrogen & Fuel Cell Day, the California Hydrogen Business Council (CHBC) has released its official White Paper “Power-To-Gas: The Case For Hydrogen”, outlining the feasibility and economics of energy storage solutions using hydrogen and methane as energy carriers. The White Paper is a project spearheaded by the HydrogenEnergy Storage Group in the CHBC and member companies.

To support the integration of ever-increasing amount of intermittent renewable generation, California is faced with a growing need to deploy utility-scale storage solutions. The White Paper is intended to provide policy makers and other interested parties with an overview of the concept and potential of hydrogen-based energy storage.  It covers key aspects of this technology, including needs for grid scale energy storage, power-to-gas solutions, economic analysis, use cases and existing projects.

The draft White Paper was released at the “Hydrogen for Energy Storage and Grid Services” workshop of the CHBC Summer Summit on July 30, 2015, allowing for comments from select stakeholders. More information at

Summary of Key Findings: 

  • Power-to-Gas (P2G) provides unique storage functionality, offering a modular solution with long-duration storage capability and rapid response characteristics suitable to a variety of grid support functions, by way of example demand response
  • The economic and environmental benefits of P2G technology can be maximized by tariffs and market structures that recognize storage use cases that convert energy from one form to another and that may store and later use energy at different locations
  • Water consumption in the electrolysis process is modest and will not contribute to overall water demand even at high levels of penetration; the water is recoverable in some use cases
  • Viewed as a combination fuel production system and grid resource, P2G can produce hydrogen at costs that are in line with DOE long term hydrogen fuel cost targets and the grid-related benefits reduce overall cost by nearly 25% in the case analyzed
  • P2G as an electricity-to-electricity storage resource uses the existing natural gas system to deliver electrolyzer produced hydrogen blends or synthetic methane to existing electrical generation resources. In this configuration the cost of storage can be as low as $0.07/kWh (based on output energy net of conversion losses)
  • P2G can provide the lowest cost solution for large scale, long term energy storage and provides benefits to all sectors of the energy industry.
  • More detailed modeling of P2G economics under high renewable penetration is ongoing and will be published later in the year


Jack Brouwer, Associate Director, Advanced Power and Energy Program at UC Irvine, stated that “Power-to-Gas (P2G) involves using excess renewable energy to operate an electrolyzer to split water into hydrogen and oxygen.” He added that “the major benefit is that the hydrogen gas can then be used to generate electricity using a fuel cell or engine, or as a transportation fuel for fuel cell electric vehicles.”

“There are a total of 23 Power-to Gas projects that are either in operation, being constructed or planned in Germany and a total, including Germany, of 35 in Europe,” explained Jeff Serfass, Managing Director of the California Hydrogen Business Council. “It’s not a concept or demonstration technology, but being used commercially abroad, and we see it as an important energy storage solution for California as well,” he added.

The White Paper is available on the website of the California Hydrogen Business Council at and can be downloaded free of charge.


About the California Hydrogen Business Council

The California Hydrogen Business Council is comprised of organizations and individuals involved in the business of hydrogen. Its mission is to advance the commercialization of hydrogen in transportation and stationary sources to reduce emissions and dependence on foreign oil. More information at

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