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Economic and Environmental Assessment of Different Hydrogen Production and Transportation Modes


Hydrogen is widely considered as the energy carrier of the future, but the rather high energy losses for its production are often neglected. The major current hydrogen production technology is steam methane reforming of fossil gas, but there is a growing interest in producing hydrogen sustainably from water using electrolysis. This article examines four main hydrogen production chains and two transportation options (pipeline and ship) from North Africa to Europe, analyzing the costs and environmental impacts of each. The core objective is to determine the most promising hydrogen provision method and location from an economic and ecological point of view, including the required transport. An important finding of this analysis is that both options, importing green hydrogen and producing it in Europe, may be relevant for a decarbonized energy system. The emphasis should be on green hydrogen to achieve carbon emission reductions. If blue hydrogen is also considered, attention should be paid to the often-neglected methane emissions upstream.

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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