In Sempra’s home state of California, nearly 1 million megawatt-hours of solar and wind energy were wasted in 2019 — unused because supply was too high and demand was too low.
What should we do with this excess power? Batteries can store some, but they are expensive and limited: even the best large-scale batteries can store electricity for only about six hours.
Hydrogen provides a different path — and a potential solution.
A Use for Extra Renewable Energy
Hydrogen can be produced using renewable energy in a process known as power-to-gas. Adding hydrogen, a zero-emissions gas, to California’s natural gas distribution system reduces the emissions impact of the system and boosts the development of large-scale solar: a win for solar and a win for reducing emissions.
An Emissions-Free Fuel for Public Transit Systems
Hydrogen also offers a clean-energy solution for the transportation sector. California’s transit agencies are required to transition to zero-emissions technologies by 2040. Many transit fleets are already powered by natural gas. By separating hydrogen from the natural gas that is delivered using existing infrastructure, transit agencies have a feasible, scalable path to a zero-emissions bus.
How to Turn Excess Renewable Energy into Hydrogen for Public Transit