Tag: IEA

Renewable Energy for Industry: IEA’s vision for green ammonia as feedstock, fuel, and energy trade

This morning in Beijing, China, the International Energy Agency (IEA) launched a major new report with a compelling vision for ammonia's role as a "hydrogen-rich chemical" in a low-carbon economy.

Green ammonia would be used by industry "as feedstock, process agent, and fuel," and its production from electrolytic hydrogen would spur the commercial deployment of "several terawatts" of new renewable power. These terawatts would be for industrial markets, additional to all prior estimates of renewable deployment required to serve electricity markets. At this scale, renewable ammonia would, by merit of its ease of storage and transport, enable renewable energy trading across continents.

The IEA's report, Renewable Energy for Industry, will be highlighted later this month at the COP23 in Bonn, Germany, and is available now from the IEA's website.

Read more ...

Renewable Hydrogen in Fukushima and a Bridge to the Future

On August 1, 2017 the Japan Government’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) announced that it will proceed with funding for the construction of a hydrogen production plant in Namie Township, about ten kilometers from the site of the Fukushima nuclear disaster.  The project’s budget is not mentioned, but the installation is projected to be “the largest scale in the world” -- in other words, a real bridge to the future and not a demonstration project. 

The project no doubt has a variety of motivations, not least the symbolic value of a renewable hydrogen plant rising in the shadow of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear station.  In economic terms, though, it appears to be a dead end.  This is unfortunate because a similarly conceived project based on ammonia could be a true bridge-building step that aligns with leading-edge developments elsewhere in the world.

Read more ...

Overcoming the Selectivity Challenge in Electrochemical Ammonia Synthesis

In the last 12 months ...
The research community has made great progress toward solving the "selectivity challenge" in electrochemical ammonia synthesis. Although, rather than an actual solution, mostly what we have is a range of sophisticated work-arounds that succeed in making this problem moot.

Read more ...

Yara’s Solar Ammonia Plant is a Key Step toward Global Trade in Renewable Energy

In the last 12 months ...
Yara's Australian unit announced plans to build a pilot plant to produce ammonia using solar power. This is a key step in Australia's efforts to develop its economy around clean energy exports, and could lead to a new system of global trade in which renewable ammonia is an energy commodity.

Read more ...

The International Energy Agency’s scenarios for renewable ammonia

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has just published Energy Technology Perspectives 2017, the latest in its long-running annual series, subtitled "Catalysing Energy Technology Transformations."

In this year's edition, for the first time, ammonia is featured in two major technology transformations. First, ammonia production is shown making a significant transition away from fossil fuel feedstocks and towards electrification, using hydrogen made with electrolyzers. And, following this assumption that sustainable ammonia will be widely available in the future, the IEA takes the next logical step and also classifies ammonia "as an energy carrier," in the category of future "electricity-based fuels (PtX synthetic fuels)."

The inclusion of this pair of technology transformations represents a major step towards broader acceptance of ammonia as an energy vector, from the perspectives of both technical feasibility and policy imperative.

Read more ...

Report from the European Conference: Renewable Ammonia cost-competitive with Natural Gas Ammonia

The viability of producing ammonia using renewable energy was one of the recurring themes of the recent Power to Ammonia conference in Rotterdam. Specifically, what cost reductions or market mechanisms would be necessary so that renewable ammonia - produced using electrolytic hydrogen in a Haber-Bosch plant - would be competitive with normal, "brown" ammonia, made from fossil fuels.

A number of major industry participants addressed this theme at the conference, including Yara and OCI Nitrogen, but it was the closing speech, from the International Energy Agency (IEA), that provided the key data to demonstrate that, because costs have already come down so far, renewable ammonia is cost-competitive in certain regions today.

Read more ...

IEA calls for renewable hydrogen and carbon-free ammonia

This week, an important new voice joined the chorus of support for renewable ammonia and its potential use as an energy vector - the International Energy Agency (IEA).

In his article, Producing industrial hydrogen from renewable energy, Cédric Philibert, Senior Energy Analyst at the IEA, identifies a major problem with the hydrogen economy: hydrogen is currently made from fossil fuels. But his argument for producing hydrogen from renewable energy leads almost inevitably to ammonia: "In some not-too-distant future, ammonia could be used on its own as a carbon-free fuel or as an energy carrier to store and transport energy conveniently."

Read more ...