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Hydrogen as Energy Carrier: Techno-economic Assessment of Decentralized Hydrogen Production in Germany


Political and scientific discussions on changing German energy supply mix and challenges of such energy transition are already well established. At the supply level, energy storage seems to be the biggest challenge ahead for such transition. Hydrogen could be one of the solutions for future energy transition if it is produced using renewable energy resources. In order to analyze the future role of hydrogen, its economic performance analysis is inevitable. This has been done in this research for a case study site in Cologne. The potential of hydrogen production with the use of solar electricity powered electrolyzers (alkaline and proton exchange membrane (PEM)) has been analyzed. Both grid connected and off grid modes of solar hydrogen production are considered. Economic performance results are presented for six scenarios. Hydrogen produced with the grid connected solar photovoltaics system coupled with alkaline electrolyzers was found the cheapest, with the levelized cost of hydrogen (LCOH) at 6.23 V/kg. These costs are comparable with the current hydrogen price at commercial refueling station in Cologne. On the other hand, the LCOH of off grid systems with both alkaline and PEM electrolyzers is expensive as expected, the most expensive LCOH among six scenarios reached to 57.61 V/kg.

Funding source: Authors would like to acknowledge the financial support from Federal Ministry of Education and Research, Germany through its Project Management Agency DLR under the framework of WESAITT project.
Related subjects: Production & Supply Chain
Countries: Germany

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