Synthèse Beesnest : Hydrogène bas-carbone en Europe, des ambitions élevées à l'horizon 2030
Partout dans le monde, et en particulier dans les pays développés comme l’UE, le soutien pour le développement de l’hydrogène issu de l’électrolyse de l’eau, alimenté par de l’électricité renouvelable est fort, car il s’agit d’une des voies de production d’hydrogène les plus matures et propres. Ce rapport est consacré à l’analyse et la comparaison des objectifs de l’UE pour 2030 en matière de production d’hydrogène renouvelable avec les projets en cours.
1- European targets and policies :
- Hydrogen is considered low-carbon when its production lifecycle emissions are lower than 3.38 kg CO2e/kg H2, a threshold 70% lower than fossil fuel reference of 11.3 kg CO2e/kg H2.
- As of 2020, the hydrogen demand in the EU was 8.7 Mt with 90% produced from natural gas without carbon capture. Only 0.1% of total production capacity was from water electrolysis.
- The goal is to scale up low-carbon hydrogen production to reduce carbon intensity but this will be a long process given the volumes required.
- In 2020, renewable hydrogen production in Europe accounted for 2.5% of EU-27 emissions (80 MtCO2/year) and the target for 2030 is to produce 10 Mt.
- At a global level, low-emission hydrogen production mostly comes from fossil fuels with carbon capture, accounting for 0.7% of the total 94 Mt annual production in 2021.
- Global hydrogen production via water-electrolysis was only 35 kt in 2021, less than 0.04% of the total.
- The EU has policy initiatives to boost renewable hydrogen production. It aims to produce 10 Mt by 2030 and import an additional 10 Mt.
- To support hydrogen development, the EC approved the IPCEI Hy2Tech and IPCEI Hy2Use projects, which will provide funding and encourage private investments for various hydrogen-related projects.
- Of all European projects dedicated to hydrogen production starting from 2023, 449 out of 490 will use the water-electrolysis process, showing the momentum of this technology.
- The objectives are clear but challenging, with the need to understand implications for technological deployment rate, renewable electricity capacity, and the potential of other low-carbon hydrogen production processes.
2- Renewable electricity supply
- Achieving the goal of 10 Mt of renewable hydrogen produced by 2030 will require European production capacity to almost double every year.
- The main limiting factors for this growth in the short to medium term are the availability of renewable electricity and electrolysers.
- Between 500-550 TWh of renewable electricity is required to produce 10 Mt of renewable hydrogen by 2030, translating to a 61% to 67% electrolyser LHV efficiency.
- To reach this target, solar and wind capacities need to be increased by 159-175 GW and 123-135 GW, respectively, by 2030.
- The EU plans to increase the renewable energy share in the electricity sector to 69% by 2030, a sharp increase from 38% in 2020.
- This implies that gross renewable electricity generation must more than double between 2020 and 2030, from 1048 TWh to 2583 TWh.
- The 500 to 550 TWh required to produce 10 Mt of renewable hydrogen in 2030 represents 33% to 36% of the additional renewable electricity generation projected in the REPowerEU scenario.
- Solar capacity needs to maintain its growth rate, requiring the supply chain to provide 4 times more of new installed capacity than today (+22 GW/year between 2020 and 2021; +80 GW/year expected between 2029 and 2030).
- The installation rate for wind power must double, leading to an increase of annual installed capacity from 11 GW/year today to 53 GW/year in 2030.
- The REPowerEU targets for solar capacity are expected to be met, but the wind capacity objective is higher than all projections.
- The goal is to reach an electricity carbon intensity of 110 to 118 g CO2 e/kWh by 2030 (vs. 265 g CO2 e/kWh in 2020).
3- Electrolyser capacity
- To reach a target of 100 GW of installed electrolysis capacity by 2030, a growth rate of over 80% per year is required.
- EU plans to increase operational electrolyser capacity from 135 MW in 2021 to 6 GW by 2024, with the ultimate goal of achieving at least 100 GW in 2030.
- Such a growth rate has only been seen in limited energy technologies in Europe, such as solar PV during its boom years.
- The rapid growth of electrolyser capacity could be facilitated by political will and the modular nature of the technology.
- Electrolyser technologies currently enjoy strong political support around the globe due to the urgency of addressing the climate crisis.
- The EU is transitioning away from natural gas, spurred by geopolitical tensions such as the Ukraine war, positioning hydrogen as a viable low-carbon substitute.
- Areas rich in renewable energy are anticipated to lead in hydrogen production.
- Current EU projects under development could potentially lead to an electrolysis capacity of 58.6 GW by 2030.
- Over 75% of these projects, however, are only conceptual at this stage.
- Additional future projects are required to meet the 100 GW target, with initiatives like HyDeal Ambition playing a significant role.
- Modular technologies, like electrolysers, have quick adoption rates and steep learning curves.
- Power-to-X (or P2X) has seen average cost reductions of 7.4%, whereas wind energy costs have decreased by an average of 5.2%, and solar energy costs by 12.5%.
- Useful energy production from P2X has increased rapidly by 88% annually, compared to wind and solar energy’s 17% and 40%, respectively.
- To achieve the target of 100 GW by 2030, electrolysis growth must outpace the highest photovoltaic growth rates.
- The IEA Hydrogen projects database suggests that approximately 640 MW of electrolyser capacity is expected to be operational by the end of 2022.
- To meet the EU target of 10 Mt of hydrogen by 2030, electrolyser capacity growth rates need to be higher than those of solar during its eight best consecutive years.
- Scaling up electrolysers and renewable electricity capacity to meet future EU demand for renewable hydrogen will require significant efforts. Other low-carbon hydrogen production technologies may be considered if the deployment of electrolysers and renewables is slower than expected.
Veuillez noter qu’il ne s’agit pas d’une liste exhaustive de toutes les informations contenues dans le rapport, mais plutôt d’un résumé de certains points et chiffres clés. Pour plus d’informations, veuillez lire le rapport complet.
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