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Exploring Possible Transition Pathways for Hydrogen Energy: A Hybrid Approach Using Socio-technical Scenarios and Energy System Modelling


Hydrogen remains an important option for long-term decarbonisation of energy and transport systems. However, studying the possible transition paths and development prospects for a hydrogen energy system is challenging. The long-term nature of technological transitions inevitably means profound uncertainties, diverging perspectives and contested priorities. Both modelling approaches and narrative storyline scenarios are widely used to explore the possible future of hydrogen energy, but each approach has shortcomings.
This paper presents a hybrid approach to assessing hydrogen transitions in the UK, by confronting qualitative socio-technical scenarios with quantitative energy systems modelling, through a process of ‘dialogue’ between scenario and model. Three possible transition pathways are explored, each exploring different uncertainties and possible decision points. Conclusions are drawn for both the future of hydrogen, and on the value of an approach that brings quantitative formal models and narrative scenario techniques into dialogue.

Related subjects: Applications & Pathways
Countries: United Kingdom

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