In this project we studied the storage of electricity in ammonia (NH3). Objective of this power-to-ammonia (P2A) study is to investigate under what conditions 1) NH3 can be produced using renewable electricity, 2) NH3 can be used to store electricity and 3) NH3 can be used as a CO2-neutral fuel for a power plant.
NH3 is chosen as a potential contributing solution because it provides a pathway to fully CO2-neutral electricity storage and generation of CO2-neutral electricity on a scale that is not limited by scarcity of materials or storage space.
The partners in this P2A-project have concluded that ammonia has in the long term the potential to contribute substantially to CO2-reduction targets. It offers flexibility for the energy system, can play an important role in substituting fossil based NH3 and allows for smart choices with regard to avoiding high capacity investments in the electricity grid.
However, the production of green NH3 from renewable electricity in The Netherlands is economically not attractive at this moment and on the short term. The main reasons are a limited availability of cheap renewable electricity resulting in a limited number of operating hours in combination with high investment costs, mainly determined by the electrolysers for the production of H2 . Attractiveness might be achieved in case the specific investment costs for electrolysers will be reduced by about 70% compared to the current level of 1000 EUR/kW or if more flexible high efficient P2A process become available like LT SSAS.
Importing NH3 with a low or no CO2 footprint as a fuel for carbon neutral electricity production is feasible with an SDE+ type subsidy and has the potential to contribute significantly to the required CO2 -reductions (maximum 3.5 Mton/year in case of base load operation producting 10 TW.