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The Role of Hydrogen for a Greenhouse Gas-neutral Germany by 2045


This paper aims to provide a holistic analysis of the role of hydrogen for achieving greenhouse gas neutrality in Germany. For that purpose, we apply an integrated energy system model which includes all demand sectors of the German energy system and optimizes the transformation pathway from today's energy system to a future cost-optimal energy system. We show that 412 TWh of hydrogen are needed in the year 2045, mostly in the industry and transport sector. Particularly, the use of about 267 TWh of hydrogen in industry is essential as there are no cost-effective alternatives for the required emission reduction in the chemical industry or in steel production. Furthermore, we illustrate that the German hydrogen supply in the year 2045 requires both an expansion of domestic electrolyzer capacity to 71 GWH2 and hydrogen imports from other European countries and Northern Africa of about 196 TWh. Moreover, flexible operation of electrolyzers is cost-optimal and crucial for balancing the intermittent nature of volatile renewable energy sources. Additionally, a conducted sensitivity analysis shows that full domestic hydrogen supply in Germany is possible but requires an electrolyzer capacity of 111 GWH2.

Funding source: This work was supported by the Helmholtz Association under the program “Energy System Design”.
Related subjects: Policy & Socio-Economics
Countries: Germany

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