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The potential role of H2 production in a sustainable future power system

The operation of a future highly decarbonised (95% CO2 emissions reduction vs 1990) power system, as defined with JRC-EU-TIMES in 2050, is analysed with METIS. The power system is dimensioned in order to provide adequate electricity to a fleet of electrolysers, whose purpose is to produce hydrogen at quantities adequate to supply industrial processes and transport. The analysed power system deviates from current practices in that demand takes over the role of power generation in balancing the system and setting the wholesale market price. The segment of the market where competitive forces set the price shifts from production to demand. Under the assumption of adequate competition between the electrolyser operators the resulting prices could, in most EU member states, arrive at a sustainable equilibrium. This equilibrium – not present in all member states – depends on the ratio between flexible load (electrolyser capacity) and variable renewable generation.