Batteries are not suitable in storing large amounts of electricity over time. A major advantage of hydrogen is that it can be produced from (surplus) renewable energies, and unlike electricity it can also be stored in large amounts for extended periods of time. For that reason, hydrogen produced on an industrial scale could play an important part in the energy transition.
However, hydrogen can complement batteries in the transport sector. The optimal energy storage system for vehicles lies in hydrogen and battery systems. The hydrogen system would provide the bulk energy storage, while a relatively small energy capacity battery would allow regenerative braking, meet peak power demands, and generally buffer the fuel cell against load changes to extend its lifetime. This complementary use of hydrogen and battery storage is precisely the arrangement employed by Honda in its FCX Clarity hydrogen car that is now available commercially in limited numbers.
Alongside other demand and supply measures, energy storage can play an important part in improved system integration. Short-term electricity storage in batteries for small plants is developing dynamically, however, longer-term storage of larger surplus amounts of electricity requires new types of storage, such as chemical storage in the form of hydrogen.