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Enabling the European hydrogen economy

Hydrogen is set to play an important role in the EU’s decarbonisation strategy, providing c.7-22% of its final energy demand by 2050. Many sectors, particularly hard-to-abate sectors such as steel production, will be difficult or impossible to decarbonise through electrification alone; and without the widespread use of hydrogen the EU is unlikely to reach its decarbonisation objectives.

Hydrogen is already an important feedstock for many chemical processes, but is currently produced via SteamMethane Reforming (SMR) or Auto-Thermal reforming (ATR), using natural gas as a fuel without carbon capture and storage (CCS), resulting in emissions of 8-12 kgCO2/kgH2. For decarbonisation targets to be met, there must be a transition towards the use of decarbonised hydrogen.

There is ongoing debate on how best the EU should approach the development of a hydrogen economy and a number of critical policy decisions made today will shape how the hydrogen economy
evolves over the coming decades. Policy support should be focused on the development of scenarios that will optimise the rapid decarbonisation of otherwise hard-to-abate sectors, whilst minimising full life cycle emissions and reducing costs.

This report summarises the findings from Aurora’s study on European hydrogen scenarios and addresses key questions which need to be considered, including:

  • How can Europe’s potential to produce hydrogen be maximised?
  • How can hydrogen be produced in the cheapest manner?
  • How can full-lifecycle emissions from hydrogen production be minimised?
  • What policy support is needed to support the development of this scenario?

Download a copy of our Enabling the European hydrogen economy report, sponsored by a consortium of European energy consumers and producers.

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