On the feasibility of direct hydrogen utilisation in a fossil-free Europe

Andrei David Korberg*, Jakob Zinck Thellufsen, Iva Ridjan Skov, Miguel Chang, Susana Paardekooper, Henrik Lund, Brian Vad Mathiesen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
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Hydrogen is often suggested as a universal fuel that can replace fossil fuels. This paper analyses the feasibility of direct hydrogen utilisation in all energy sectors in a 100% renewable energy system for Europe in 2050 using hour-by-hour energy system analysis. Our results show that using hydrogen for heating purposes has high costs and low energy efficiency. Hydrogen for electricity production is beneficial only in limited quantities to restrict biomass consumption, but increases the system costs due to losses. The transport sector results show that hydrogen is an expensive alternative to liquid e-fuels and electrified transport due to high infrastructure costs and respectively low energy efficiency. The industry sector may benefit from hydrogen to reduce biomass at a lower cost than in the other energy sectors, but electrification and e-methane may be more feasible. Seen from a systems perspective, hydrogen will play a key role in future renewable energy systems, but primarily as e-fuel feedstock rather than direct end-fuel in the hard-to-abate sectors.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Issue number8
Pages (from-to)2877-2891
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jan 2023


  • Biomass
  • Energy System Analysis
  • direct hydrogen
  • e-fuels
  • hydrogen infrastructure


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