In the transition from fossil to renewable energy, the energy system should become clean, while remaining reliable and affordable. Because of the intermittent nature of both renewable energy production and energy demand, an integrated system approach is required that includes energy conversion and storage. We propose a concept for a neighbourhood where locally produced renewable energy is partly converted and stored in the form of heat and hydrogen, accompanied by rainwater collection, storage, purification and use (Power-to-H3). A model is developed to create an energy balance and perform a techno-economic analysis, including an analysis of the avoided costs within the concept. The results show that a solar park of 8.7 MWp combined with rainwater collection and solar panels on roofs, can supply 900 houses over the year with heat (20 TJ) via an underground heat storage system as well as with almost half of their water demand (36,000 m3) and 540 hydrogen electric vehicles can be supplied with hydrogen (90 tonnes). The production costs for both hydrogen (8.7 €/kg) and heat (26 €/GJ) are below the current end user selling price in the Netherlands (10 €/kg and 34 €/GJ), making the system affordable. When taking avoided costs into account, the prices could decrease with 20–26%, while at the same time avoiding 3600 tonnes of CO2 a year. These results make clear that it is possible to provide a neighbourhood with all these different utilities, completely based on solar power and rainwater in a reliable, affordable and clean way.
- Aquifer thermal energy storage (ATES)
- Avoided (social) cost
- Energy conversion & storage
- Renewable energy & water
- System integration