HYDROGEN 4 EU
Charting pathways to enable net zero
2022 EDITION OUT NOW
The Hydrogen for Europe study is the result of a cross-sectoral, technology-neutral research project charting potential pathways for hydrogen to contribute to the EU’s goal of net zero GHG emissions. Applying innovative and proven modelling, the study supports the realization of EU climate targets for 2030 and 2050 by assessing which mix of hydrogen technologies can best contribute to the EU’s current and future energy landscape – and what support is needed to enable this.
What’s new in the 2022 edition?
Now accounts for the impact of a progressive substitution of Russian energy imports, as decided by the EU.
Updated policy targets
Higher renewable energy penetration and the renewed relevance of a diversified energy supply strategy.
Integrates methane footprint of the production, transport and use of natural gas and low-carbon hydrogen in Europe, along the full value chains.
2022 EDITION FINDINGS
Hydrogen’s long-term role is expected to be unaffected by the current energy crisis and substitution of Russian gas supplies.
A Technology Diversification pathway saves €650 billion in system costs (€40bn/y) on the way to climate neutrality by 2050.
The role of natural gas and low-carbon hydrogen is contingent on secure supplies, best practices in methane emission mitigation, and successful CCS deployment.
Total hydrogen consumption remains at 100 Mt and 25% of the energy mix in 2050 in both pathways.
The share of renewable in final energy consumption goes up to 65-80% depending on the pathway.
With an 80% reduction in methane intensity, using the Best Available Technology (BAT), natural gas can retain a share of 26-19% (442-321 bcm) in the energy mix in 2050.
FINDINGS PER SECTOR
50 Mt of hydrogen used in 2050, accounting for 40% of the sector’s energy demand
43 Mt of hydrogen used in 2050, accounting for 40% of the sector’s energy demand
2-4 Mt of hydrogen in final energy consumption, up to 3% of market penetration
Peak hydrogen units use 2-3 Mt to generate over 50 TWh, helping integrate renewables and mitigate curtailment and grid congestion
TWO POLICY PATHWAYS
Based on already approved national and European targets and assumes no obstacles to the deployment of different technologies, as well as perfect market foresight on investment decisions. This pathway considers an array of decarbonisation technologies, deployed as needed, which allows for the de-risking of investments through the creation of a more competitive and efficient climate-neutral energy system.
Prioritizes the deployment of renewable energy through increased targets (in line with current policy discussions) on the share of renewable in gross final energy consumption by 2050. While this pathway does not result in significant changes in consumption patterns and energy system costs, it sees a key role for hydrogen in helping to absorb, store, and transport the additional energy resulting from higher renewables generation.
To generate each pathway’s findings, the modelling framework allows an analysis of the European energy transition and hydrogen’s potential within it, with a detailed technological, sectoral and geographic scope, including 27 European countries and imports from North Africa, the Middle East and Ukraine.
The MIRET-EU model encompasses the entire lifecycle of an energy system, from primary resource to utilisation. This model is well suited to help decision-makers as it provides data over medium to long-term time horizons and can easily contribute to energy roadmaps by providing clear information on technologies and fuels in all sectors based on data and actual best knowledge. This model allows for great flexibility, it can take direct and indirect environmental emissions into account, as well as almost all policies at all levels.
The Hydrogen for Europe study is the result of a cross-sectoral, technology-neutral research project charting potential pathways for hydrogen to contribute to the EU’s goal of net zero GHG emissions. Applying innovative and proven modelling, the study supports the realisation of EU targets for 2030 and 2050 by assessing which mix of hydrogen technologies can best contribute to the EU’s current and future energy landscape – and what support is needed to enable this.
The study's first edition, published in May 2021, confirmed the expectations that hydrogen will play a key role in Europe’s decarbonisation efforts. The 2021 edition put into perspective the value of diversification in technologies and supply routes. For hydrogen, in particular, it showed the complementarities between the production of renewable and low-carbon hydrogen and imports from non-European countries, to achieve a quick upscaling of the hydrogen value chain and de-risk the European energy transition.
The 2022 edition of the Hydrogen for Europe study provides an update to its assessment of hydrogen’s contribution to achieving climate neutrality, considering the key evolutions, developments and shifts in focus that have happened since spring 2021. The modelling framework was notably updated to account for a progressive phase-out of Russian energy imports. It also includes methane emissions associated with the production, transport and use of natural gas and low-carbon hydrogen in Europe, along their full value chains. It considers a gradual reduction of combined CO2 and methane emissions to net-zero by 2050, in line with the European Climate Law.