Hydrogen Strategy for Regional Energy Suppliers


Development of hydrogen strategies taking into account future challenges for energy suppliers and network operators

Project duration: 7/2023 – 12/2023

Funded by: E.ON SE

Project partners:

Hydrogen is a sustainable alternative to natural gas and methane. The decarbonization of the industrial and mobility sectors through hydrogen is currently under discussion. However, the future use of green hydrogen is uncertain due to the high energy requirements for production and uncertainties regarding cost development. This uncertainty has a significant impact on the future of gas distribution networks. Depending on the scenario, the most economical option for network operators may involve new construction, reinforcement, or even dismantling of gas networks.

This project aims to assess the necessary developments (energy requirements, technologies, prices, etc.) in the future in the context of hydrogen. Furthermore, determining the impact of energy demand developments in Syna and Süwag supply area on the strategic direction. To achieve these goals, the following sub-goals are defined:

  • Overview of overall system scenarios for the future use of hydrogen
  • Techno-economic analysis for components (e.g. electrolyzers)
  • Identification of possible industrial demand centers for hydrogen in the regional energy supplier network area
  • Calculation of the required gas network expansion/conversion/dismantling
  • Derivation of technical, economic, and regulatory recommendations for action

To achieve the aforementioned goals, FCN-ECO collaborates with FCN-ESE and IAEW to investigate several issues within this context. The first work package defines the challenges and potential courses of action for the hydrogen strategy for a regional energy supplier. It also identifies the current major industrial buyers in the company's supply area.

In the second work package, three scenarios for the development of the hydrogen economy are formulated. This includes identifying future hydrogen needs for specific sectors and forecasting demand and relative price levels for different energy sources. The analysis of regulatory design's impact on energy forecasting is also a part of this package.

The third work package involves assessing the business development of hydrogen in the regional energy supplier area. It proposes various business models for different segments of the hydrogen value chain. Additionally, it analyzes the business attractiveness of various areas as part of an opportunities analysis. The fourth work package determines the future of hydrogen and electricity supply using a high-resolution regional model, and it is closely related to the next work package.

In the fifth work package, the effects of the changed supply task on the model network areas are analyzed. It also quantifies the technical and economic needs for expansion, dismantling, and reallocation in various model network scenarios. The final work package involves compiling the previous information into a documented report.