Future hydrogen demands from industry transition towards 2030 - a site-specific bottom-up assessment for North-Western Europe
Industry decarbonisation is currently high on the agenda in the EU and its member states, as this sector has substantial shares in overall GHG emissions while it faces serious challenges to decarbonise. Hydrogen based on renewable electricity can have a key role in the transition towards a CO2-neutral industrial production since its use as an energy carrier as well as a feedstock in various industrial process routes is promising. To scale-up hydrogen infrastructure in North-West Europe, a deep systemic understanding with a detailed spatial perspective is required. With industry representing a high-priority sector for the use of CO2-neutral hydrogen, a site-specific analysis of hydrogen demands from industry is essential. Here, we conduct an analysis of the potential demand of hydrogen for the industrial transition in North-West Europe (Netherlands, north-west Germany, Belgium, northern France, Luxembourg). The region is a centre of the European heavy industry value chain and is seen as a pioneer region for industry transition. Our method is based on a techno-economic scenario approach that considers 515 individual industrial plants allocated to 185 sites. We calculate transformation pathways based on re-investment cycles and plant age. We present the resulting hydrogen demands by sector and spatially distributed at the level of sites and NUTS3 regions. Limiting the use of hydrogen to feedstocks and high-temperature process heat, we calculate a total technical demand potential of about 250 TWh/a based on 180 individual plants. Considering re-investment cycles and plants due for re-investment until 2030 shows a potential hydrogen demand of 55 TWh/a. Aggregating the hydrogen demand by NUTS3 region, we identify 12 regions with a total technical demand potential of 10 TWh/a or more mainly concentrating around the large chemical and steel clusters. The resulting data set is available for download and can be used in energy-systems studies to improve the resolution of industry sector.