The implementation of hydrogen as an alternative fuel could play a key role in decarbonising the road transport system. To that end, low-carbon hydrogen production pathways should be guaranteed. In this sense, energy systems modelling, enriched with indicators such as the carbon footprint, allows analysts to explore aspects such as the long-term national hydrogen production mix. In a recent work by the Systems Analysis Unit of IMDEA Energy* an energy systems optimisation model for the prospective assessment of the Spanish hydrogen production mix was upgraded. The upgrade focused on the consideration of CCS (CO2 capture and storage) retrofit of steam methane reforming plants, an option disregarded in the original model. This enabled a detailed study about the potential role of grey and blue hydrogen in satisfying the hydrogen demand associated with the deployment of fuel cell electric vehicles in Spain, setting 2050 as the time horizon. Exploring novel hypothetical scenarios on banning hydrogen from fossil-based plants without CCS, the leading role of hydrogen produced through water electrolysis in the medium-to-long term (2030–2050) was confirmed. Furthermore, the trends observed for the national hydrogen production mix were found to be associated with an appropriate prospective behaviour in terms of carbon footprint.
(*) Revisiting the role of steam methane reforming with CO2 capture and storage for long-term hydrogen production. Z. Navas-Anguita, D. García-Gusano, J. Dufour, D. Iribarren. Science of the Total Environment 2021, 771: 145432. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.145432.
More information: Diego Iribarren, senior researcher, Systems Analysis Unit, email@example.com
Enriching hydrogen energy systems modelling results through the consideration of CCS retrofit of steam methane reforming plants