Global atlas of H2 potential will show sustainable locations for the green hydrogen of the future

Germany will continue to rely on energy imports in the long term. Among other things, it will have to import a large share of green hydrogen and its synthesis products from global regions that are rich in wind and solar power. The HyPat project, which is led by Fraunhofer ISI, is developing a comprehensive, global hydrogen atlas, as called for in Germany's National Hydrogen Strategy.

For the first time, the »HyPat project – Global Atlas of H2 Potential« will identify and conduct a comprehensive analysis of Germany's possible partner countries in a future hydrogen economy. Alongside a detailed survey of the global techno-economic potentials and analysis of hydrogen chains including transport, the analysis will include the requirements of the partner nations. These take into account the sustainable coverage of domestic energy demand, the Paris Climate Agreement, and the economic development opportunities of a green hydrogen economy in compliance with specific sustainability criteria.

Furthermore, the project consortium will analyze the capabilities of the countries to build the capital- and technology-intensive plants needed for hydrogen production. These capabilities include governance structures, access to capital, and geopolitical stability. The researchers will also survey the opportunities resulting for these countries, for example, the impacts on local value creation and opportunities for capacity building. In parallel, acceptance and stakeholder analyses will be carried out. The project team will compare the supply of hydrogen and synthesis products resulting from these analyses with the worldwide demand of the importing countries, which will lead to a complete, overall picture for the first time. Based on this, policy recommendations will be made for the development of a sustainable import strategy for Germany. The results are expected to be available in spring 2024.

An interdisciplinary consortium has been brought together to explore the different aspects in depth. The project is led by a team headed by Prof. Martin Wietschel from the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI.

The project partners are the Chair of Microeconomics at the University of Münster (WWU), the Fraunhofer Research Institution for Energy Infrastructures and Geothermal Systems (IEG), the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE), the German Development Institute (DIE), Energy Systems Analysis Associates (ESA²) GmbH and the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS). The Deutsche Energie-Agentur (dena) and the Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) are participating in the project as subcontractors. The project will run for three years and is being funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research BMBF as part of the "Hydrogen Republic of Germany" ideas competition.

The Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI analyzes the origins and impacts of innovations. We research the short- and long-term developments of innovation processes and the impacts of new technologies and services on society. On this basis, we are able to provide our clients from industry, politics and science with recommendations for action and perspectives for key decisions. Our expertise is founded on our scientific competence as well as an interdisciplinary and systemic research approach.