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Modeling Green Hydrogen Production Using Power-to-x: Saudi and German Contexts


This study assesses the competitiveness of producing green hydrogen (H2) in Saudi Arabia and Germany using a power-to-carrier (P2X) model in PLEXOS for 2030 and beyond. The target amount of H2 to be produced serves as the only exogenous input, allowing the model, which runs on an hourly temporal resolution, to endogenously optimize the electrolyzer technology (alkaline, proton exchange membrane, or solid oxide electrolyzer cell), the capacity of the electrolyzer to be built, and the optimal carbon-free energy mix. Results suggest the overall investment needs in Saudi Arabia are approximately 25% lower than those for wind-based hydrogen production in Germany, with the best-case scenario to produce 0.213 Mt of green H2 costing a net present value of $6.20 billion in Saudi Arabia, compared to $8.11 billion in Germany. The findings indicate that alkaline electrolyzers dominate the production process, favored for their low cost despite the higher efficiencies of other electrolyzer types. Moreover, the model opts to dump excess energy rather than construct battery storage. Based on 16 scenarios, the study determines a levelized cost of hydrogen of 2.34–3.08 $/kg for Saudi Arabia, compared with 3.06–3.69 $/kg in Germany. Subsequently, a detailed sensitivity analysis considers various discount rates for both countries. It is concluded that even when considering shipment costs from Saudi Arabia to Germany (~1 $/kg), green H2 can still be competitively delivered from Saudi Arabia to Germany.

Related subjects: Production & Supply Chain
Countries: Saudi Arabia

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