Hydrogen for Europe - Final report of the pre-study
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At present there is an ongoing process within the EU on how to fulfil the commitment made to the Paris agreement. The role of hydrogen, and in particular hydrogen from natural gas combined with capture and storage of the produced CO2 (CCS), is debated. The hydrogen for Europe pre-study has been undertaken with the purpose of assessing current knowledge about the potential hydrogen has to decarbonize the European economy. The assessment has been set up to answer three main questions: 1.What is the potential for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions using hydro-gen? 2.What is the relative cost of alternative transitioning pathways for the European energy system, from today to 2050 and beyond? 3.What is the viability, e.g. technology readiness, safety, policy and regulatory barriers, of the energy transition paths? It is found that hydrogen from natural gas with CCS has the potential to reduce the current European GHG emissions by 19% by 2050, replacing fossil fuels in the power, residential, commercial, transport and industry sectors. This is regarded as an upper bounds value for the potential. Today and well beyond 2030, the emissions from production of hydrogen from natural gas with CCS is estimated to be significantly lower than emissions from pro-duction of hydrogen using electrolysers and average European grid electricity. Until the power sector is fully decarbonized, it is important to account for the impact on its decarbonization rate from the latter kind of hydrogen production. The average European grid electricity is used in the current study as a simplified approach. With regards to cost of alternative transitioning pathways for the European energy system, and the viability e.g. in terms of technology readiness, there is limited knowledge at current. This is due to e.g. that hydrogen production from natural gas with CCS is not included, or that the results are derived for smaller geographic areas and thus not directly trans-ferable to the EU as a whole.