07 Dec 2022, 12:45
Julian Wettengel

Middle East and North Africa carry “huge” green hydrogen potential for Europe – researchers

Clean Energy Wire

The Middle East and North Africa region (MENA) has “huge potential” to supply Germany and Europe with green hydrogen and synthetic fuels made from renewable power at low cost, said researchers from the German Aerospace Center (DLR), the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy and the Institute for Future Energy Systems (IZES) in a joint report. Even when considering the MENA countries’ own needs for renewable energy, there still is great potential in the sun-drenched region to produce the climate-friendly fuels for Europe at low cost, said the report. At the most favourable locations, production costs for synthetic fuels could be between 1.92 and 2.65 euros per litre in 2030 – and between 1.22 and 1.65 euros per litre in 2050, DLR said in a press release. However, it cautioned that if potential investment risks are taken into account, this has a significant influence on the total costs and therefore the possible choice of export countries. The researchers evaluated the entire MENA region by splitting it into smaller sub-regions and looking into the entire production chain of synthetic fuels, they said. The report combines technological and economic aspects with the assessment of individual country risks for all 17 countries considered in this region.

While green hydrogen is seen as a crucial fuel to decarbonise certain industry processes and store renewable power at a large scale, synthetic fuels made from renewable electricity could be one way of making mobility sectors such as aviation more climate friendly. DLR last year presented a strategy for future emission-free aviation, while the country’s aviation industry tabled a joint master plan to bring air transport more in line with climate protection.

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