Fraunhofer ISE: Combination of wind and solar decisive for hydrogen import options

On behalf of the Hamburg, Germany-based H2Global Foundation, which with the support of currently 54 companies is committed to the worldwide production of green hydrogen, the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE has prepared a study on imports of green hydrogen and downstream products such as ammonia, methanol and synthetic kerosene to Germany. The options for such »power-to-X« products were investigated for twelve countries pre-selected by the Foundation.
The central result is that Brazil, Colombia and Australia are particularly recommended for importing ammonia, methanol and kerosene, while gaseous hydrogen could come from southern Europe or North Africa, »provided that pipelines are available in time for transport.«
The study arrives at a cost of about €171 ($183) per megawatt-hour for imports in terms of the energy content of both liquid hydrogen and ammonia for imports by ship from the three countries best suited for this purpose. The »high combined full load hours for solar and wind energy systems« there are a key cost advantage. However, imports using converted natural gas pipelines from regions in Algeria, Tunisia and Spain could be significantly cheaper, namely for €137 ($147) per megawatt hour.
According to the study, »imports are a necessary and economically viable supplement to local hydrogen production.« The key criteria are »an advantageous wind-and-solar energy combination and high system utilization, as well as comparatively low capital costs.« The combination of wind and photovoltaics is more important here than particularly good conditions for only one of the two energy sources.

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