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Life Cycle Costing Approaches of Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Systems: A Literature Review


Hydrogen is a versatile energy carrier which can be produced from variety of feedstocks, stored and transported in various forms for multi-functional end-uses in transportation, energy and manufacturing sectors. Several regional, national and supra-national climate policy frameworks emphasize the need, value and importance of Fuel cell and Hydrogen (FCH) technologies for deep and sector-wide decarbonization. Despite these multi-faceted advantages, familiar and proven FCH technologies such as alkaline electrolysis and proton-exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) often face economic, technical and societal barriers to mass-market adoption. There is no single, unified, standardized, and globally harmonized normative definition of costs. Nevertheless, the discussion and debates surrounding plausible candidates and/or constituents integral for assessing the economics and value proposition of status-quo as well as developmental FCH technologies are steadily increasing—Life Cycle Costing (LCC) being one of them, if not the most important outcome of such exercises.
To that end, this review article seeks to improve our collective understanding of LCC of FCH technologies by scrutinizing close to a few hundred publications drawn from representative databases—SCOPUS and Web of Science encompassing several tens of technologies for production and select transportation, storage and end-user utilization cases. This comprehensive review forms part of and serves as the basis for the Clean Hydrogen Partnership funded SH2E project, whose ultimate goal is the methodical development a formal set of principles and guardrails for evaluating the economic, environmental and social impacts of FCH technologies. Additionally, the SH2E projects will also facilitate the proper comparison of different FCH technologies whilst reconciling range of technologies, methodologies, modelling assumptions, and parameterization found in existing literature.

Funding source: This project has received funding from the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen 2 Joint Undertaking (now Clean Hydrogen Partnership) under Grant Agreement No 101007163. This Joint Undertaking receives support from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation program, Hydrogen Europe and Hydrogen Europe Research.
Related subjects: Policy & Socio-Economics
Countries: Germany ; Japan

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