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Integration Assessment of Turquoise Hydrogen in the European Energy System


Turquoise hydrogen from natural gas pyrolysis has recently emerged as a promising alternative for low-carbon hydrogen production with a high-value pure carbon by-product. However, the implications of this technology on the broader energy system are not well understood at present. To close this literature gap, this study presents an assessment of the integration of natural gas pyrolysis into a simplified European energy system. The energy system model minimizes the cost by optimizing investment and hourly dispatch of a broad range of electricity and fuel production, transmission, and storage technologies, as well as imports/exports on the global market. Norway is included as a major natural gas producer, and Germany as a major energy importer. Results reveal that pyrolysis is economically attractive at modest market shares where the carbon by-product can be sold into highvalue markets for 400 €/ton. However, pyrolysis-dominated scenarios that employ methane as a hydrogen carrier also hold promise as they facilitate deep decarbonization without the need for vast expansions of international electricity, hydrogen, and CO2 transmission networks. The simplicity and security benefits of such pyrolysis-led decarbonization pathways justify the modest 11 % cost premium involved for an energy system where natural gas is the only energy trade vector. In conclusion, there is a strong case for turquoise hydrogen in future energy systems and further efforts for commercialization of natural gas pyrolysis are recommended.

Funding source: This study was supported by the Research Council of Norway under the FRINATEK program (project number: 302819).
Related subjects: Applications & Pathways
Countries: Morocco ; Norway ; Spain

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