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Analysis of the Levelized Cost of Renewable Hydrogen in Austria


Austria is committed to the net-zero climate goal along with the European Union. This requires all sectors to be decarbonized. Hereby, hydrogen plays a vital role as stated in the national hydrogen strategy. A report commissioned by the Austrian government predicts a minimum hydrogen demand of 16 TWh per year in Austria in 2040. Besides hydrogen imports, domestic production can ensure supply. Hence, this study analyses the levelized cost of hydrogen for an off-grid production plant including a proton exchange membrane electrolyzer, wind power and solar photovoltaics in Austria. In the first step, the capacity factors of the renewable electricity sources are determined by conducting a geographic information system analysis. Secondly, the levelized cost of electricity for wind power and solarphotovoltaics plants in Austria is calculated. Thirdly, the most cost-efficient portfolio of wind power and solar photovoltaics plants is determined using electricity generation profiles with a 10-min granularity. The modelled system variants differ among location, capacity factors of the renewable electricity sources and the full load hours of the electrolyzer. Finally, selected variables are tested for their sensitivities. With the applied model, the hydrogen production cost for decentralized production plants can be calculated for any specific location. The levelized cost of hydrogen estimates range from 3.08 EUR/kg to 13.12 EUR/kg of hydrogen, whereas it was found that the costs are most sensitive to the capacity factors of the renewable electricity sources and the full load hours of the electrolyzer. The novelty of the paper stems from the model applied that calculates the levelized cost of renewable hydrogen in an off-grid hydrogen production system. The model finds a cost-efficient portfolio of directly coupled wind power and solar photovoltaics systems for 80 different variants in an Austria-specific context.

Funding source: This research was funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) through its Project Management Agency Jülich (PtJ) under the framework of the RETODOSSO Project with grant No 03SF0598A. The APC was funded by the same.
Related subjects: Policy & Socio-Economics
Countries: Germany

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