Expanding decarbonization efforts beyond the power sector are contingent on cost-effective production of energy carriers, like H2, with near-zero life-cycle carbon emissions. Here, we assess the levelized cost of continuous H2 supply (95% availability) at industrial-scale quantities (~100 tonnes/day) in 2030 from integrating commodity technologies for solar photovoltaics, electrolysis, and energy storage. Our approach relies on modeling the least-cost plant design and operation that optimize component sizes while adhering to hourly solar availability, production requirements, and component inter-temporal operating constraints. We apply the model to study H2 production costs spanning the continental United States and, through extensive sensitivity analysis, explore system configurations that can achieve $2.5/kg levelized costs or less for a range of plausible 2030 technology projections at high-irradiance locations. Notably, we identify potential sites and system configurations where PV-electrolytic H2 could substitute natural gas-derived H2 at avoided CO2 costs (=$120/ton), similar to the cost of deploying carbon capture and sequestration
Mallapragada, Dharik Sanchan, Emre Gençer, Patrick Insinger, David William Keith, and Francis Martin O’Sullivan. "Can Industrial-Scale Solar Hydrogen Supplied from Commodity Technologies Be Cost Competitive by 2030?" Cell Reports Physical Science 1.9 (September 2020): 100174.