Stakeholder perspectives on the scale-up of green hydrogen and electrolyzers

Bernhard Johannes Jesse*, Gert Jan Kramer, Vinzenz Koning, Stefan Vögele, Wilhelm Kuckshinrichs

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Green hydrogen is a promising alternative to fossil fuels. However, current production capacities for electrolyzers and green hydrogen are not in line with national political goals and projected demand. Considering these issues, we conducted semi-structured interviews to determine the narratives of different stakeholders during this transformation as well as challenges and opportunities for the green hydrogen value chain. We interviewed eight experts with different roles along the green hydrogen value chain, ranging from producers and consumers of green hydrogen to electrolyzer manufacturers and consultants as well as experts from the political sphere. Most experts see the government as necessary for scale-up, by setting national capacity targets, policy support and providing subsidies. However, the experts also accuse the governments of delaying development through overregulation and long implementation times for regulations. The main challenges that were identified are the current lack of renewable electricity and demand for green hydrogen. Demand for green hydrogen is influenced by supply costs, which partly depend on prices for electrolyzers. However, one key takeaway of the interviews is the skeptical assessments by the experts on the currently discussed estimates for price reduction potential of electrolyzers. While demand, supply, and prices are all factors that influence each other, they result in feedback loops in investment decisions for the energy and manufacturing industries. A second key takeaway is, that according to the experts, current investment decisions in new production capacities are not solely dependent on short-term financial gains, but also based on expected first mover advantages. These include experience and market share which are seen as factors for opportunities for future financial gains. Summarized, the results present several challenges and opportunities for green hydrogen and electrolyzers, and how to address them effectively. These insights contribute to a deeper understanding of the dynamics of the emerging green hydrogen value chain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)208-217
Number of pages10
JournalEnergy Reports
Volume11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2024

Keywords

  • Electrolyzer
  • Green hydrogen
  • Investment decisions
  • Semi-structured interviews

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