Berlin, 18 August 2022 Hydrogen technologies will play a decisive role in the energy transition. At present, however, as hydrogen is on the brink of mass scale-up, the question remains as to which role hydrogen will play in the various sectors. The National Academy of Science and Engineering, acatech, and the Society for Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology, DECHEMA, are conducting a meta-analysis as part of their joint H2-Compass project. Among other things, the H2-Compass team looks at how different studies and scenarios forecast the future use of hydrogen in specific sectors. acatech and DECHEMA have published an analysis of the use of hydrogen in the domestic transport sector.
For the meta-analysis on the use of hydrogen in the domestic transport sector, experts from acatech and DECHEMA compared a total of four studies. In most scenarios, between 6 and 33 percent of the domestic final energy demand of the transport sector will be covered by hydrogen in 2045. In absolute figures, this means that in 2045 between 25 and 100 terawatt hours of hydrogen will be consumed in the transport sector, while the total energy demand of the transport sector will be 300 to 400 terawatt hours. 60 to 80 percent of the hydrogen used in this sector will be needed in heavy-duty transport. The use of hydrogen in bus transport and inland waterways can also be very high on a proportional basis, but the total final energy demand of these subsectors will be low. In 2045, according to the scenarios studied, 85 to 150 terawatt hours of hydrogen will be used to produce e-fuels. These hydrogen-based synthetic fuels will primarily be used in domestic aviation and, to a lesser extent, in inland shipping. On German roads, e-fuels will only contribute to decarbonise existing fleets as well as long-distance heavy goods traffic.
Hydrogen applications used alongside battery-electric vehicles in the transport sector
"Our evaluation of various studies shows consensus: battery-electric vehicles will be used for the majority of transport applications in the future. Hydrogen and e-fuels will only be used where electrification is not technically possible or economically feasible. Hydrogen and e-fuels will also be particularly important for the climate-neutral operation of existing fleets," Kurt Wagemann, head of the H2-Compass project at DECHEMA, explains. His conclusion: "The demand for pure hydrogen in the transport sector will be dominated by heavy trucks."
The publication also summarises a roundtable discussion from spring 2022 with experts from academia, industry, trade associations and the public sector. Furthermore, the publication illustrates the likely level of energy demand in the transport sector as well as the share of e-fuels predicted by various studies. "Most scenarios assume a drastic reduction in final energy consumption in transport," sums up Andrea Lübcke, head of the H2-Compass project at acatech. "This is above all due to the greater electrification of cars and trucks and the significantly higher efficiency associated with this."
The “Hydrogen in the Transport Sector” analysis is available for download in German here: wasserstoff-kompass.de/news-media/dokumente/mobilitaet
About the H2-Compass project
acatech and DECHEMA have been conducting the two-year H2-Compass project since June 2021. With the help of a meta-analysis, they are jointly developing an overview of various development paths for the market ramp-up as well as corresponding options for action with their respective advantages and disadvantages. Furthermore, the H2-Compass project has been organising a dialogue with stakeholders from academia, industry, politics and civil society in order to obtain their views and work towards a common vision of a German hydrogen economy. The project results can be used by policymakers to develop a national hydrogen roadmap. The H2-Compass project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action.