Competitive green hydrogen could be just around the corner

ees Europe

February 04, 2020 - As a complement to renewable energy generation, Power-to-X technology is crucial to the success of the energy transition. This process supplies carbonneutral fuel for power plants, vehicles, buildings and industry.

In this context, green hydrogen (Power-toGas) is increasingly being cited as a way of achieving mandatory energy and climate objectives. At present, hydrogen is generally obtained from natural gas or coal – with harmful effects on the climate: These production processes released 830 million metric tons of CO2 worldwide in 2017, which is more than the total amount emitted by Germany. Less than one percent of hydrogen is currently produced renewably using electrolyzers. According to a recent report by US analysts Wood Mackenzie, the total capacity of systems used to produce green hydrogen amounts to 252 MW. By 2025, new electrolyzers with a capacity of 3,205 MW will have been deployed, marking a leap of 1,272 percent. Among other things in Germany, it should be less expensive to produce green hydrogen than hydrogen from fossil fuels within ten years. This is subject to solar and wind power production costing no more than 2.7 euro cents per kilowatt hour by 2030. Today the production costs in Germany lie on average at 6.95 ct/kWh, for largescale plants costs of less than 5 ct/kWh are possible.

At these costs, green hydrogen cannot compete with the fossil-fuel variety in most cases – at least not before 2025. National targets and pilot projects are nevertheless expected to lead to a considerable expansion in capacity. And experts believe that in the long term, as production runs for storage systems grow, investment costs will fall. What can be done to accelerate the use of green hydrogen? This and other topics will be discussed at the Power-to-X side event held during the ees Europe Conference, which has been supported by the European associations Hydrogen Europe and Eurogas as strategic partners since 2019. Jorgo Chatzimarkakis, Secretary General of Hydrogen Europe, has an optimistic outlook: “Solar and gas could be the perfect coupling of the future.“