Although renewable energy production initiatives have increased in recent years, they are still insufficient in the face of a massive deployment of fossil fuels for more than 70 years. In order to support the energy transition that is essential for the future, the TWEED Cluster, with the support of Wallonia, set out to realize the strategic vision of hydrogen development in the Walloon Region. This study, validated by the industry, analyzes in particular the role of hydrogen, a new key vector in this transition, by 2030 and 2050.
At the time of the necessary energy transition, announcements of the first hydrogen projects in Wallonia are being heard. But what is hydrogen and what can it concretely bring to this energy transition in Wallonia? This is essentially what the TWEED Cluster wanted to answer by publishing this “Hydrogen Roadmap” for Wallonia.
The TWEED Cluster examined the composition of value chains of hydrogen-related trades and technologies and identified opportunities for development for no less than forty organizations (companies, SMEs, training centers, universities, research centers). research, …) present in Wallonia or more generally in Belgium. Technical and economic data has been provided for the main stations of these chains, namely the electrolyser, the various storage solutions and the fuel cell.
The versatility of hydrogen is the subject of a section in its own right which illustrates the many existing relationships through electricity, hydrogen and (bio) gas between renewable sources and recovery applications. From there, each recovery path (Power-to-Power, Power-to-Gas, Power-to-Mobility, Power-to-Industry, Power-to-Fuel) is analyzed on the basis of its advantages and disadvantages, its conversion efficiency, benchmarking of international reference projects and potential cases in Wallonia supported by cartographic data (renewable sources, gas networks, motorways, etc.).
Finally, scenarios for the use of hydrogen are established by 2030 and 2050 on the basis of historical considerations and hypotheses of future evolution for the mobility sectors, in substitution / addition to natural gas, for storage. energy or as an input for the chemical industry.
A series of major findings have been drawn up that will enable policymakers to make the right choices to limit our impact on the climate:
- Electrolysis of water accounts for only 1 to 2% of global hydrogen production, with the rest coming from the transformation of fossil fuels.
- Key market players are the United States, Japan and Germany. Ambitious investment plans are also emerging in China and South Korea.
- With a research and innovation budget of close to eight million euros in three years, Wallonia is among the pro-active regions at European level on this R & D component.
- Air Liquide has more than 950 km of hydrogen pipelines, of which 613 km (at 100 bar) are located in Belgium.
The competitiveness of hydrogen compared to other large scale storage technologies depends on its other attractions:
- Unparalleled energy storage capacity at LT,
- Ability to use residual heat for combined heat and power,
- Decoupling between storage capacity (kWh) and power (kW).
- Cost reductions are planned across all links in the value chain in the coming years to create profitable business cases
- The amount of renewable electricity needed to produce green hydrogen (via electrolysis) and to respond in a sustainable manner to certain needs (mobility, industry, residential, …) is significant. For example, in 2030, in our scenarios, despite a limited development of hydrogen, the need for electricity required represents almost all of the renewable electricity production of 2017 (excluding off-shore).
Although it is difficult to estimate energy consumption and the exact share of renewables in 2030 and 2050, given the climate objectives targeted at the Belgian and international levels, it is important to:
- Improve energy efficiency at all levels of electricity consumption stations (residential, tertiary, industry, transportation),
- Encourage intelligent and reasoned use of electrical solutions (mobility / transport mainly: TEC / multi-modality),
- To develop as far as possible the various renewable electricity and energy production sectors in Belgium,
- Also analyze alternative solutions for green hydrogen production (biomass, waste, … ).
In order to position Wallonia sustainably and competitively in this sector, the TWEED cluster also proposes in this roadmap the implementation of a series of strategic demonstration projects, sequenced according to their maturity, to develop the technological value chain, raise the awareness of the authorities but also familiarize the general public with hydrogen.
The full study is available HERE