Renewable Electrolysis in Texas: Pipelines versus Power Lines

Contributing USMA Research Unit(s)

Center for Innovation and Engineering, Civil and Mechanical Engineering

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The University of Texas at Austin - H2@UT

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Using wind and solar generation to power electrolysis facilities and produce “green” hydrogen at scale would require infrastructure investment. Using current technology, we identify at least one situation in which producing hydrogen at the point of electricity generation and transporting it to the point of use via pipeline costs about one third that of transmitting the electricity and generating hydrogen at the point of use. This raises the possibility that hydrogen pipelines might provide an alternative to high voltage transmission lines for connecting renewable generation with demand. In this white paper, we explore the tradeoffs of those two options.

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