Consultant report

Assessment of Hydrogen Production Costs from Electrolysis: United States and Europe

This report examines the price of hydrogen production from renewable electricity in both the United States (U.S.) and the European Union (EU). Commissioned by the ICCT, this study calculates the distribution of hydrogen prices under different scenarios of electricity transmission and cost reductions at a national level for the EU and sub-state regional level for the U.S. Scenario 1 assumes the electrolyzer uses renewable electricity transmitted through the electric grid and can benefit from high capacity factors, while scenario 2 assumes the electrolyzer is directly connected to an off-grid renewable electricity generator. Scenario 3 assumes the electrolyzer is only operated on electricity that would otherwise be curtailed. Three renewable electricity technologies are assessed, including: solar photovoltaic (utility scale), onshore wind, and offshore wind.

With the objective of developing an understanding of the costs associated with the production of hydrogen from water electrolysis using various forms of intermittent renewable electricity in the U.S. and the EU, the report summarizes the minimum prices that correspond with the most favorable locations within both the U.S. and the EU. The data, from public sources, includes a large database of price projections for electrolyzers and capacity factors for wind and solar generators for both the United States and Europe. This study builds a transparent accounting of hydrogen prices when produced from a variety of renewable electricity generators.

Note: A previous version of this report was made public on June 4, 2020. The updated version of the report includes updates on parameters around compressor costs and the accompanying electricity consumption.