PV-generated hydrogen cost projected to go down to EUR0.7 as well as EUR1.8/ kg by 2030

Sep 20, 2021 02:49 PM ET
  • Green hydrogen cost may reach between EUR0.7 and also EUR1.8/ kg by 2030 and also EUR0.3 and also EUR0.9/ kg by 2050, according to a European research group led by the LUT University.
PV-generated hydrogen cost projected to go down to EUR0.7 as well as EUR1.8/ kg by 2030
Image: DLR, wikimedia commons, https://bit.ly/3nOn47s

The scientists found that the levelized cost of hydrogen (LCOH) could go down from around EUR0.031-0.081/ kWh presently to EUR0.02-0.05 by 2030 and EUR0.01-0.027 by 2050.

A team of European researchers led by Finland's Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT) has looked for to evaluate the capital (CAPEX) and functional expenditure (OPEX) of hydrogen electrolysis powered by utility-scale solar for the following 3 years as well as have forecasted the cost of the eco-friendly fuel may drop from around EUR0.031-EUR0.081/ kWh presently to EUR0.02-EUR0.05 by 2030 and EUR0.01-EUR0.027 by 2050.

" We witness unprecedented growth of eco-friendly hydrogen due to substantial pull on the demand side to choose actual services as well as a large decrease in utility-scale environment-friendly hydrogen cost, driven by extremely low-cost solar PV and electrolysers," LUT professor of solar economy Christian Breyer told pv magazine. "Huge service possibilities develop today, for companies and nations, however only smart decision-makers in industry and policy will profit."

The projected cost decrease will certainly be the result of a simultaneous cost decline for both electrolysis powered by large-scale PV and the CAPEX of solar itself, according to their evaluation, which was based on historic knowing rates (LRs) for both technologies and also a series of different growth scenarios. "The levelized cost of hydrogen (LCOH) is computed for five European and 5 non-European areas with different solar irradiation degrees as well as with a number of weighted-average cost of capital (WACC) rates," they specified.

The set of locations include Helsinki, Finland; Munich, Germany; Toulouse, France; Rome, Italy; Malaga, Spain; Rajasthan, India; El Paso, Texas, UNITED STATES; Western Australia; South Africa; and Chile's Atacama Desert.


The typical CAPEX for utility-scale solar was computed under 3 different situations: A fast growth situation in which it is predicted to fall from around EUR0.047/ kWh presently to EUR0.027/ kWh in 2030 and also EUR0.013/ kWh in 2050; a base growth scenario in which this value need to go down to EUR0.031/ kWh in 2030 and EUR0.019/ kWh in 2050; and a slow development situation where it gets to only EUR0.036/ kWh in 2030 as well as EUR0.025/ kWh in 2050.

The scientists presumed that annually the average module rate may decrease by a conservative 25% and that typical module performance boosts by 0.4%. The OPEX in 2020 was approximated at EUR9.4/ kW per year as well as it is thought to reduce with 10% LR yearly.


When it comes to large-scale electrolyzers, the scientists found the CAPEX in the fast development scenario may go down from EUR400/kW in 2020 to EUR230/kW in 2030 as well as EUR60/kW in 2050. Furthermore, they anticipate this cost be up to reach EUR260/kW in 2030 as well as EUR80/kW in 2050 in a base development situation as well as EUR280/kW in 2030 and EUR130/kW in 2050 in a slow growth scenario.

" The state-of-the-art effectiveness for alkaline electrolyzers is reported as 67%, which is assumed here to enhance by 0.3% points annually to 76% by 2050," the group better explained. "Costs of stimulants are not considered as crucial because nickel is one of the most common electrocatalyst in alkaline water electrolysis."


In computing the LCOH, the research team thought that a PV plant is extra-large in connection with the electrolyzer input power at a ratio of 1.33. Under this configuration, electrolyzers have 33% even more complete lots hours (FLHs) contrasted to the PV return in each location. A first-year 2% deterioration and yearly 0.5% destruction is estimated for the PV plant yield and also a yearly performance destruction of in between 0.10 and 1.50% is assumed for the electrolyzer.

The academics defined that the present LCOH of solar-powered hydrogen currently reaches its lowest level of EUR0.031/ kWh in the Atacama Desert in Chile, which is the area with the highest level of solar radiation on the planet, and the greatest value of EUR0.081/ kWh in Helsinki, which is the region with the most affordable radiation among the chosen places. "By 2030 LCOH will decrease by around 33% and also by 67% by 2050," they emphasized. "It is notable that the cost of PV-generated power is already about 63% of the LCOH, raising to about 74% by 2050. This recommends that electrolyzer CAPEX will certainly not play a significant role in the future LCOH growth."

According to the researchers, the LCOH will certainly lower to in between EUR0.020 and EUR0.054/ kWh or EUR0.7 and EUR1.8/ kg by 2030 and EUR0.010 as well as EUR0.027/ kWh or EUR0.3 and EUR0.9/ kg by 2050. "Already throughout this decade, solar hydrogen will be globally a less expensive gas compared to hydrogen produced from natural gas with carbon capture storage space," they ended. "Finest solar source sites on the planet reach full competition of green hydrogen versus fossil methane-based hydrogen also without fossil carbon capture, today," Breyer added. "Time for window-dressing as well as greenwashing is gone and significant sectors, such as steelmaking, chemical market, marine shipping and also aviation need to provide real shift techniques to react on enormous policy and capitalist stress."

Their findings as well as the linked approach are described in the paper "The True Cost of Solar Hydrogen," published in RRL Solar. The research group consists of scientists from the LUT, the Basque Research and Technology Alliance (BRTA) in Spain, Italian research institute Eurac, the European Compensation's Joint Research Centre (JRC), and the Becquerel Institute in Belgium.