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The Future Potential Hydrogen Demand in Energy-intensive Industries - A Site-specific Approach Applied to Germany


Hydrogen, when based on renewable electricity, can play a key role in the transition towards CO2-neutral industrial production, since its use as an energy carrier as well as a feedstock in various industrial process routes is promising. At the same time, a large-scale roll-out of hydrogen for industrial use would entail substantial impacts on the energy system, which can only be assessed if the regional distribution of future hydrogen demand is considered. Here, we assess the technical potential of hydrogen-based technologies for energy-intensive industries in Germany. The site-specific and process-specific bottom-up calculation considers 615 individual plants at 367 sites, and results in a total potential hydrogen demand of 326 TWh/a. The results are available as an open dataset. Using hydrogen for non-energy-intensive sectors as well increases the potential hydrogen demand to between 482 and 534 TWh/a for Germany - based on today’s industrial structure and production output. This assumes that fossil fuels are almost completely replaced by hydrogen for process heating and feedstocks. The resulting hydrogen demand is very unevenly distributed: a few sites account for the majority of the overall potential and, similarly, the bulk of demand is concentrated in a few regions with steel and chemical clusters.

Funding source: This work was financially supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy in the context of the project ’VerSEAS’, grant number 03EI1018C, and was supported by the Fraunhofer Cluster of Excellence CINES
Related subjects: Policy & Socio-Economics
Countries: Austria ; Germany

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