Economic Analysis of Integrated Solar Power, Hydrogen Production, and Electricity Markets

Joshua Eichman, Omar Guerra, Mariya Koleva

Research output: NRELPresentation


Hydrogen is a versatile energy carrier that is used in a wide variety of chemical and industrial processes. Producing hydrogen using electrolysis can enable integration of multiple sectors including electricity, heating, and industrial sectors; however, the cost of producing hydrogen from electrolysis remains a challenge for encouraging greater adoption. To help improve the economics for both solar PV and hydrogen production using electrolyzers, we explore the benefit of combining PV and electrolysis systems. Using the Revenue Operation and Device Optimization Model (RODeO) model, the optimal breakeven hydrogen production cost for six unique market participation configurations is calculated at six candidate locations in California where PV is already installed. Costs include production, storage, and compression in preparation for gaseous delivery trucks. Revenue streams included in the optimization are the sale of hydrogen, Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) credits, renewable electricity sold to the grid, and Renewable Energy Credits (REC). The costs included are the electricity costs, capital and fixed operation and maintenance cost (FOM) for the electrolyzer, PV, and storage and compression systems as well as taxes and financing costs. In addition, cost reductions are achieved through retail and wholesale electricity use optimization, by which electricity is purchased at the lowest price and sold, if possible, at the highest price. For all locations analyzed, the breakeven hydrogen production cost results show that, in order of decreasing cost, the system configurations are islanded (highest), separated, NEM, retail, hybrid retail/wholesale, and wholesale (lowest). This report also explores other aspects of hydrogen systems including optimal renewable sizing and resulting energy mixture to the electrolyzer, value of renewable premiums, competition with incumbent technologies, cost sensitivity to a variety of parameters.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages19
StatePublished - 2020

Publication series

NamePresented at ICEPAG 2020 Hydrogen: A Platform for Sustainability Annual Presentation, 14-16 September 2020

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/PR-5400-78040


  • decarbonized economy
  • electricity markets
  • electrolysis
  • electrolyzers
  • electrons-to-molecules
  • hydrogen production cost
  • optimization
  • power-to-gas
  • renewable hydrogen
  • solar electrolysis


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