Around the planet, 30% of the population lacks continuous or stable access to electricity.
Mismatches between production and consumption could be solved with an adequate solution to store the excess energy produced from renewable sources. Hydrogen and other energy carriers will become of increasing importance over the following years.
The annual economic impact of energy storage in 2025 is estimated up to $635 billion (or €566 billion) (McKinsey). Among them, PEM fuel cells represent the most mature technology that dominates the hydrogen-based applications market such as electric power storage and backup, off-grid electrical supply, and electric mobility.
The storage of renewable energies to bridge supply to demand is a key challenge of renewable energy management. The GRT GROUP participates to an important development project together with the EPFL as well as other reputed academic partners for the chemical storage of electricity in formic acid which is used as hydrogen source. The energy density of formic acid is equivalent to high pressure hydrogen gas, but it is easily stored and transported.
The acid is produced during peak production hours from excess electricity generated by renewable sources. When the demand exceeds production the acid is split by a patented catalysis process to release hydrogen and carbon dioxide which feed fuel cells.