Sustainable process heat

As part of the SPOT project the costs of power-to-heat supply chains have been researched by TNO, TUe and Recoy. The aim is to supply the whole Dutch industry with sustainably generated heat from carbon-free electricity.

Various scenarios for a carbon-free economy in 2050 were assessed in terms of the energy supply portfolio for The Netherlands and industrial heat demand for temperatures above and below 200 degrees Celsius. Then, all viable energy conversion & storage technologies were evaluated along with their expected cost in 2030 and infrastructure costs (e.g. expansion of electricity or hydrogen network). A model was created whereby all viable value chains were assessed on a number of criteria including cost.

The project draws the following conclusions:

  • the power generation mix is an important factor for the amount of energy storage that is required;
  • long duration energy storage will become much more important in our future energy system with more variable renewable energy production;
  • energy storage will become a major contributor to total energy system cost;
  • energy storage in a water vessel with a heat pump is the most attractive option for heat chains below 200 degrees C;
  • energy storage in the form of hydrogen in underground salt caverns in combination with a hydrogen burner is the most attractive option for heat chains above 200 degrees C;
  • CO2-free baseload generation such as nuclear energy results in lower requirements for long-duration energy storage and may result in lower overall investment costs depending on chain efficiency. Nuclear energy thus competes with seasonal energy storage, not with renewable energy generation.