New study on clean hydrogen deployment
There is a high potential for cooperation between Europe and the MENA region in the production and import of clean hydrogen. However, a critical assessment of the developments and requirements in the areas of production, supply, import, storage and infrastructure is needed to gain in-depth insights into the feasibility of unlocking this potential. A new study by Fraunhofer CINES, prepared in collaboration with Geostock, highlights the various aspects of hydrogen potential in the Europe-MENA region.
The study »Clean Hydrogen Deployment in the Europe-MENA Region from 2030 to 2050: A Technical and Socio-Economic Assessment« assesses the technical feasibility and socio-economic aspects of the European Union’s (EU) REPowerEU target of producing, importing, and transporting 20 million tonnes (Mt) of clean hydrogen by 2030 for use in various sectors or to be imported and stored through various routes (pipelines, ships).
The central questions addressed by this paper are:.
- What hydrogen production and import volumes are technically feasible in the Europe-MENA region?
- Can imports from the MENA countries be integrated into the existing European natural gas grid?
- How much technical storage capacity is available for hydrogen in the Europe-MENA region?
- What socio-economic issues must be considered in a strategic analysis of clean hydrogen deployment in the Europe-MENA region?
MENA countries can play a major role
Due to their geographical proximity, low-cost hydrogen production potential and existing gas infrastructure, six MENA countries are considered key players for realizing the REPowerEU import target: Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia.
The study estimates the hydrogen demand in Europe to be about 376 TWh by 2030 and about 2,000 TWh by 2050. By 2050, Europe will be able to meet a significant portion of its hydrogen demand through imports from the six selected MENA countries. The majority of these imports will have to come via pipelines. At the same time, ammonia imports by ship will also play an important role for Europe from 2030.
Socio-economic aspects need to be considered
While MENA countries can play a very important role for the import of clean hydrogen in Europe, the authors argue that, in addition to the technical-economic aspects, socio-economic aspects and political dimensions of hydrogen deployment, including strict sustainability criteria and domestic and primary energy demand must be considered before the hydrogen export potential from MENA countries to Europe
can be determined.
Germany will be Europe’s hydrogen import ‘juggernaut’
For Germany, the hydrogen consumption is forecast to be around 84 TWh in 2030 and 492 TWh in 2050. This makes Germany by far the largest hydrogen consumer within Europe. Since there is a gap between production and sectoral consumption of about 1.8 Mt (60 TWh) in 2030 and almost 8 Mt (266 TWh) in 2050, Germany will become a major hydrogen importer in Europe.
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Interested in cooperation potentials between Europe and the MENA region regarding green hydrogen? Please contact the project lead Dr. Jan Frederik Braun.