The hydrogen analysis was carried out by Sintef, a Norwegian research company, and Ifpen, a French petroleum institute, with project management provided by Deloitte.
The oil and gas industry, including Equinor and Norwegian Oil and Gas, is funding the majority of the research.
One of the key conclusions is that hydrogen will help the EU eliminate climate pollution to a far greater degree than the EU’s own projections indicate.
According to the report, hydrogen demand could reach over 100 million tonnes by 2050.
This equates to 3,300 terawatt hours, which is more than 21 times Norway’s current total electric power output.
Simultaneously, Sintef and Ifpen come to the conclusion that “blue hydrogen” would be critical for achieving climate targets in a cost-effective manner.
Blue hydrogen is hydrogen made from natural gas that has had CO2 captured and stored (CCS).
The most cost-effective option, according to the report, would be a major investment in CCS, with a storage capacity of 1,400 million tonnes of CO2 per year by 2050.
This is almost 1,000 times more than Norway can save per year in the first step of the massive CCS project Langskip.
Sintef and Ifpen predict that the annual expense will be 70 billion dollars higher in a situation where green hydrogen is prioritized.
Green hydrogen is hydrogen generated by electrolysis with renewable energy.
Although green hydrogen emits no emissions, blue hydrogen emits a small amount.
According to the forecast, the transportation sector will account for more than half of hydrogen production.
Furthermore, substantial demand is anticipated in industry, although hydrogen’s usage to reduce pollution in construction and power generation is less likely.
Gunhild Reigstad is a Sintef researcher and one of the study’s reporters. She sees huge prospects for Norway as a gas producer in the face of climate change.
In a press release from Sintef, Reigstad states, “The results of the study show that in this conversion, hydrogen from natural gas with CO2 capture, and large-scale storage of Europe’s CO2 emissions would be economical and sustainable.”
With its natural gas supplies and CO2 storage investments, Norway is well positioned to develop a new hydrogen export industry. Norway’s investment in offshore wind may be a significant contribution to sustainable hydrogen production in the future, she says, once the infrastructure is in place and the hydrogen demand has expanded.