Direct Solar-to-Hydrogen to Be Commercially Viable by 2030

Spanish oil & gas company Repsol plans to build a demo plant by 2024 for converting PV power directly into green H2 without need for electrolysis as intermediate step. The facility receives direct solar radiation and using photoactive material generates electrical charges that cause splitting of water into hydrogen and oxygen.

Repsol is developing the technology, called photoelectrocatalysis, together with Spanish gas grid operator Enagas along with several research bodies such as the Aragon Hydrogen Foundation, the Catalan Institute for Energy Research and the University of Alicante.

The technology roadmap foresees that by 2030 the hydrogen generated directly from solar power will be able to compete in terms of cost with conventional processes using fossil gas, or electrolysis to produce low-carbon hydrogen.

The first plant will occupy a territory close to half a hectare and have a production of 100 kg of H2 daily. As the next step, it is planned to be followed by an industrial-scale plant of about 60ha and with a production capacity of up to 10 tonnes of the green hydrogen per day by 2028.