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Bekir Caner Yagci
Therefore, electrification of the industry is one of the key solutions to substantially contribute to a CO2 neutral energy system.

This post is written by Bekir Caner Yagci, a highly motivated electrical power engineer with green hydrogen experience and comprehensive knowledge of power systems & power electronics using a variety of software. Dedicated to life-long learning. Caner's mission is to have an impact that will improve the quality of life, by providing clean, affordable energy to people.

The Role of Electrification and Power-to-X Technologies in Net Zero- Carbon Emission Goals

By: Bekir Caner Yagci

On: 11/01/2024

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Zero-carbon emission

Zero-carbon emission is the ultimate goal of countries. Evolution to a sustainable world is an urgent challenge that must be dealt with by humankind for a better life. One of the best solutions of humankind to this problem is supplying energy demand with renewable energy sources (RES) such as wind and solar.

Renewable Energy Sources

Renewable energy with electrification means using RES as the primary electrical energy source for energy sector and energy efficiency is the reduction in energy losses by physical system improvements. It is important to note that renewable energy with electrification and energy efficiency has the potential to provide up to 94% reduction in energy related CO2 emissions. For this reason, significant amount of renewable energy sources integrated to the electricity network and more expected to be accommodated. These energy sources have low carbon emission for electrical power generation.

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Demand and Supply

However, the stochastic nature of RES puts reliability of existing electrical power system in great danger and introduces a new challenge for grid operators to match the energy demand and supply in power networks. As a result, flexibility of the electrical power system must be increased by electrification of the industry to allow a larger percentage of RES in generation units and enhance reliability of the electrical power system.

Significant Savings

Energy consumption per actor in industrial areas is much greater than that in residential or commercial areas. Electrification of even a few processes in industries can lead to significant amounts of carbon savings as well as provide flexibility for the power grid. Therefore, electrification of the industry is one of the key solutions to substantially contribute to a CO2 neutral energy system.

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Power-to-X Here We Go!

This can be achieved by new electrically powered technologies, namely Power-to-X (PtX) technologies, and electrochemical processes being developed to increase the share of directly used clean renewable energy in the power system. The growing role of hydrogen in view of electrolyser technology is a good example of this.

Power-to-X (e.g. power-to-gas, power-to-heat, power-to-chemical, etc.) is the sector coupling technology used for the electrification of the industry. It consists of electricity conversion and energy storage technologies such as electrolysers, electric heat pumps/boilers, electric vehicles, batteries, compressed gas tanks and so on. These technologies allow coupling of electricity into various energy domains such as gas, heat or chemicals at lower system (and control) level than traditional methods. A larger share of electricity from RES, especially from sun and wind, is increasing the flexibility demand of power system, and PtX is the solution to increasing power system flexibility demand.

Opportunities in Energy Systems

PtX are especially favorable in energy systems with high shares of RES, and for ambitious decarbonization targets. With the integration of PtX into electrical power system, excess power of RES can be converted into various forms of energy, and it can be stored in the final form or converted back into electricity. This way storage would provide opportunities for demand-side management and, also the produced energy would have zero or low contribution to greenhouse gas emissions.

Bright Outlook

As a final statement, looking at the growing number of renewable energy sources and increasing role of electricity, Power-to-X technologies are promising to be an integral part of an efficient, renewable and interconnected multi energy system in the near future.

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