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Renewable Hydrogen Supply Chains: A Planning Matrix and an Agenda for Future Research


Worldwide, energy systems are experiencing a transition to more sustainable systems. According to the Hydrogen Roadmap Europe (FCH EU, 2019), hydrogen will play an important role in future energy systems due to its ability to support sustainability goals and will account for approximately 13% of the total energy mix in the coming future. Correct hydrogen supply chain (HSC) planning is therefore vital to enable a sustainable transition. However, due to the operational characteristics of the HSC, its planning is complicated. Renewable hydrogen supply can be diverse: Hydrogen can be produced de-centrally with renewables, such as wind and solar energy, or centrally by using electricity generated from a hydro power plant with a large volume. Similarly, demand for hydrogen can also be diverse, with many new applications, such as fuels for fuel cell electrical vehicles and electricity generation, feedstocks in industrial processes, and heating for buildings. The HSC consists of various stages (production, storage, distribution, and applications) in different forms, with strong interdependencies, which further increase HSC complexity. Finally, planning of an HSC depends on the status of hydrogen adoption and market development, and on how mature technologies are, and both factors are characterised by high uncertainties. Directly adapting the traditional approaches of supply chain planning for HSCs is insufficient. Therefore, in this study we develop a planning matrix with related planning tasks, leveraging a systematic literature review to cope with the characteristics of HSCs. We focus only on renewable hydrogen due to its relevance to the future low-carbon economy. Furthermore, we outline an agenda for future research, from the supply chain management perspective, in order to support HSC development, considering the different phases of HSCs adoption and market development.

Funding source: One author (OT) is financed by Familjen Kamprads Stiftelse 20220081, which is highly appreciated. Two authors (FS, MP) are financed by INTPART project “FutureLOG” - Norges forskningsråd 309528, which is highly appreciated. One author (SA) is financed by PON R&I 2014-2020 – AIM (Attraction and International Mobility), project AIM 1815402-1.
Related subjects: Policy & Socio-Economics
Countries: Italy ; Norway ; Sweden

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