Report Open Access
Kee, Joris; van Zoelen, Rob
Since the Paris climate agreement, the attention for ways to decarbonize the existing energy system has grown immensely. Sustainable alternatives for fossil oil and gas which are still able to provide the same level of energy security, or better, are of particular interest. The implementation of these carriers will impact the existing energy system as a whole, mainly because of two reasons: new energy carriers need to fit within an existing energy system (e.g., H2, NH3); and some existing carriers might increase significantly in capacity (electricity). New means of production, transport, storage and demand, i.e., value chains, will be required to realize these. In this report existing literature on the potential role of hydrogen in the future energy system is described. Following, the ways of modelling this future role in the energy system are distinguished, and how a modelling approach can influence the results. After the stage is set, the reasoning behind national decision making on hydrogen value chain development is described through their respective national hydrogen strategy. Finally, the design of hydrogen value chains within the environment of interest can be designed by identifying the chain elements, and the value chain models of interest. The condition of the existing energy system is an important fact to consider, to find the best way of decarbonizing it. The type of hydrogen economy, being it green or blue, import or export focused, primary gas demand or primary electrified demand, depends a lot on the strategy of the country. These national strategies are dependent on the costs of hydrogen production, growth of demand relative to production, and policy decision-making.
To find which potential value chains can be the most cost-effective within an energy system one can make use of value chain modelling. Two general types of modelling, optimization or calculation of value chains, return different perspectives on the results. Optimization returns one optimized solution within the given boundaries, and calculation gives a better opportunity to analyse scenarios and parameter sensitivities. In the (academic) literature, a lot of focus is on the planning (optimization) of HRS and costs for mobility sector. Typically, interdisciplinary consortia including governments, knowledge institutions and industrial stakeholders focus on the large-scale industrial end-use of hydrogen.
In the process of modelling value chains in general, the volumes and costs of hydrogen through the stages of the value chain are identified and provide insight in the economic and technical implications within a value chain. These insights can be of use for spatial planning, capacity planning and feasibility studies for the hydrogen value chain elements themselves.