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Economic impacts of hydrogen as an energy carrier in european countries

: Wietschel, M.; Seydel, P.


International journal of hydrogen energy 32 (2007), Nr.15, S.3201-3211
ISSN: 0360-3199
Fraunhofer ISI ()
employment; input-output model; lead market; industrial shift

The two objectives of this paper are to identify possible sectoral shifts and employment effects due to the application of hydrogen in the energy system for selected European countries till 2030. This is based on assumptions about the market penetration of hydrogen as an energy carrier, an analysis of the competitiveness of EU countries in this technology field and input-output model calculations.
The analysis showed that the introduction of hydrogen leads to significant shifts between economic sectors and, as a policy recommendation, it is concluded that the required workforce skills in hydrogen technologies should be available in time in order to be properly prepared for this. Some employment gains are possible for the EU Member States analysed if the introduction of hydrogen does not result in significant changes in export/import flows. However, the lead market analysis also showed that the competitiveness of EU countries varies significantly and that, viewed as a whole, Europe is in danger of falling behind its main competitors. This may lead to job losses because the industry branches affected-automotive and plant manufacturers - represent key sectors for the EU. One policy goal, therefore, especially for countries with a large share of automobile and plant manufacturing, is to aim to be a lead market for hydrogen and fuel cells.