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On the Future Relevance of Green Hydrogen in Europe


Hydrogen is among the energy carriers, which are most often considered for bringing about a sustainable energy system. Yet, so far, hydrogen has not delivered as an energy carrier. The core objective of this paper is to provide a comprehensive analysis of the state-of-the-art and the future prospects of green hydrogen in the European energy system from economic, energetic and CO2 emissions point-of-view. The analysis shows that there are some increasing opportunities for hydrogen use in industry and in the transport sector, when electrification is not possible or is too expensive, as well as a storage in the European electricity system. However, a hydrogen-based energy system will remain a vision at least over the next decades. The major reason for this is the unfavorable economics mostly due to high investment costs in the whole supply chain. In addition, the overall efficiencies in the hydrogen chains are moderate in general. The full environmental benignity of hydrogen as an energy carrier is only provided when renewable energy sources are used for hydrogen production. However, in Europe, the potentials for green hydrogen are very limited due to the insufficient expansion of renewable electricity generation. For this reason, many European countries are considering options for green hydrogen import. The future of hydrogen is highly dependent on the supporting policy framework. To reduce the risk in the investment in hydrogen infrastructure, as well as to justify the promotion of green hydrogen, it is very important that Europe works out a very clear and realistic long-term implementation strategy.

Funding source: The authors acknowledge TU Wien Bibliothek for financial support through its Open Access Funding Programme.
Related subjects: Policy & Socio-Economics
Countries: Austria

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