WORKING PAPER, HYDROGEN ON THE HORIZON: HYDROGEN DEMAND AND COST DYNAMICS

Sept. 29, 2021

The World Energy Council, in collaboration with EPRI and PwC, aims to provide a better understanding of hydrogen development worldwide for the energy community, building on the expertise and experience of its global network. In this context, we published a new Innovation Insights Briefing on Hydrogen in July 2021, seeking to start a multi-stakeholder, multi-level community dialogue on hydrogen’s role in energy transitions.

Hydrogen is being discussed as one important solution to meet the Paris climate goals, as it can be a clean fuel, feedstock, and reagent for many energy intensive processes and transport services. However, possible hydrogen demand trajectories up to 2050 can vary depending on the development of complementing technologies, such as energy efficiency, electrification, carbon capture, and hydrogen technologies themselves. This analysis aims to shed light on the different hydrogen demand and cost trajectories by analysing various reports and energy scenarios.

Distribution costs for hydrogen covering storage and transportation are likely to be substantial and could limit growth. Distributing hydrogen as a liquid in the form of ammonia could enable the repurposing of some existing oil infrastructure to reduce costs, while natural gas pipelines could be repurposed to distribute hydrogen in gaseous form.