The Role of Hydrogen in Future Low-Carbon Energy Systems – Insights from Systems Modeling
The next presentation in the Texas A&M Energy Institute Lecture Series, featuring Dr. Dharik S. Mallapragada, a Research Scientist at the MIT Energy Initiative, will be held on Tuesday, October 6, 2020, from 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. CDT (GMT -5:00) through an online Zoom meeting. The topic will be “The Role of Hydrogen in Future Low-Carbon Energy Systems – Insights from Systems Modeling.”
Deep decarbonization of the energy system is contingent on identifying pathways for eliminating greenhouse gas emissions from not only the power sector, but also other end-use sectors where direct electrification may be challenged, such as in industrial applications and heavy-duty transport. In this context, the use of hydrogen (H2) produced from low-carbon pathways remains an appealing prospect. Over the past few decades, the versatility of hydrogen, both in terms of production pathways and potential end uses across multiple sectors, has led to waves of interest in a future “hydrogen economy.” Recent renewed interest in hydrogen has been spurred, in part, by expectations of a future renewables-dominant electric grid and cost declines for water electrolyzers, both of which raise the prospect of electrolytic hydrogen becoming cost-competitive with fossil fuel-based pathways, such as natural gas reforming. This presentation will explore the long-term cost-effectiveness of H2 use in multiple sectors using systems analysis approaches that account for: a) the scale and spatial distribution (i.e., centralized or distributed) of potential hydrogen demand; b) variability in energy supply (e.g., wind and solar) over multiple timescales; and c) cross-sectoral interactions stemming from multiple end-uses and production pathways associated with hydrogen.
Dharik S. Mallapragada is a research scientist at the MIT Energy Initiative. Dharik’s current research focuses on advancing energy systems modeling tools to study implications of renewables integration in the power sector, economy-wide electrification, and assessment of emerging energy technologies. Prior to MIT, Dharik spent nearly five years in the energy and petrochemicals industry working on a range of sustainability-focused research topics. Most recently, Dharik worked at ExxonMobil Corporate Strategic Research, where he contributed to research on power systems modeling, technology life cycle assessment and also led a research program to study energy challenges in developing countries. Dharik holds an M.S. and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Purdue University and a B.Tech. in Chemical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, India.