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Challenges Toward Achieving a Successful Hydrogen Economy in the US: Potential End-use and Infrastructure Analysis to the Year 2100


Fossil fuels continue to exacerbate climate change due to large carbon emissions resulting from their use across a number of sectors. An energy transition away from fossil fuels seems inevitable, and energy sources such as renewables and hydrogen may provide a low carbon alternative for the future energy system, particularly in large emitting nations such as the United States. This research quantifies and maps potential hydrogen fuel distribution pathways for the continental US, reflecting technological changes, barriers to deployment, and end-use-cases from 2020 to 2100, clarifying the potential role of hydrogen in the US energy transition. The methodology consists of two parts, a linear optimization of the global energy system constrained by carbon reduction targets and system cost, followed by a projection of hydrogen infrastructure development. Key findings include the emergence of trade pattern diversification, with a greater variety of end-uses associated with imported fuels and greater annual hydrogen consumption over time. Further, sensitivity analysis identified the influence of complementary technologies including nuclear power and carbon capture and storage technologies. We conclude that hydrogen penetration into the US energy system is economically viable and can contribute toward achieving Paris Agreement and more aggressive carbon reduction targets in the future.

Related subjects: Policy & Socio-Economics
Countries: Japan ; United States

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