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Powering Europe with North Sea Offshore Wind: The Impact of Hydrogen Investments on Grid Infrastructure and Power Prices


Hydrogen will be a central cross-sectoral energy carrier in the decarbonization of the European energy system. This paper investigates how a large-scale deployment of green hydrogen production affects the investments in transmission and generation towards 2060, analyzes the North Sea area with the main offshore wind projects, and assesses the development of an offshore energy hub. Results indicate that the hydrogen deployment has a tremendous impact on the grid development in Europe and in the North Sea. Findings indicate that total power generation capacity increases around 50%. The offshore energy hub acts mainly as a power transmission asset, leads to a reduction in total generation capacity, and is central to unlock the offshore wind potential in the North Sea. The effect of hydrogen deployment on power prices is multifaceted. In regions where power prices have typically been lower than elsewhere in Europe, it is observed that hydrogen increases the power price considerably. However, as hydrogen flexibility relieves stress in high-demand periods for the grid, power prices decrease in average for some countries. This suggests that while the deployment of green hydrogen will lead to a significant increase in power demand, power prices will not necessarily experience a large increase.

Funding source: Thanks to the research grant (308811) in the project: Planning Clean Energy Export from Norway to Europe. The authors acknowledge the financial support from the Research Council of Norway and the user partners Agder Energi, Air Liquide, Equinor Energy, Gassco and TotalEnergies E&P Norge.
Related subjects: Policy & Socio-Economics
Countries: Norway

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