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Economic competitiveness of off-peak hydrogen production today – A European comparison


  • Mansilla, C.
  • Louyrette, J.
  • Albou, S.
  • Bourasseau, C.
  • Dautremont, S.


Hydrogen has a wide range of applications. In view of the environmental benefits, hydrogen can be produced by decarbonized means. When alkaline electrolysis is the selected process, extra value is offered by flexible operation that could bring both; an opportunity to reduce the cost of hydrogen produced (by consuming electricity during off-peak hours, and stopping the process during peak hours) and also a complementary tool to help balancing of the electric system. This paper assesses the profitability of market-driven operation for three different markets: France, Germany and Spain, with an analysis on the spot market. The market that exhibits the biggest potential in terms of profitability thanks to flexible operation is the French one, for each studied year. France is also the country that has the smallest installed renewable capacity amongst three considered countries. The gain on the hydrogen production cost allowed by the optimization is less than 3%. Hence, market-driven operation does not seem highly favourable to valorize fluctuating hydrogen production, when only the market price opportunities are considered. The balancing tool provided by the electrolysis system needs to be specifically valorized, in order to make flexible operation profitable.

Suggested Citation

  • Mansilla, C. & Louyrette, J. & Albou, S. & Bourasseau, C. & Dautremont, S., 2013. "Economic competitiveness of off-peak hydrogen production today – A European comparison," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 996-1001.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:energy:v:55:y:2013:i:c:p:996-1001
    DOI: 10.1016/

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Caumon, Pauline & Lopez-Botet Zulueta, Miguel & Louyrette, Jérémy & Albou, Sandrine & Bourasseau, Cyril & Mansilla, Christine, 2015. "Flexible hydrogen production implementation in the French power system: Expected impacts at the French and European levels," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 556-562.
    2. van Leeuwen, Charlotte & Mulder, Machiel, 2018. "Power-to-gas in electricity markets dominated by renewables," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 232(C), pages 258-272.
    3. Rahil, Abdulla & Gammon, Rupert & Brown, Neil, 2018. "Flexible operation of electrolyser at the garage forecourt to support grid balancing and exploitation of hydrogen as a clean fuel," Research in Transportation Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 125-138.
    4. Abdulla Rahil & Rupert Gammon, 2017. "Dispatchable Hydrogen Production at the Forecourt for Electricity Demand Shaping," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(10), pages 1-22, October.
    5. Fernández-Dacosta, Cora & Shen, Li & Schakel, Wouter & Ramirez, Andrea & Kramer, Gert Jan, 2019. "Potential and challenges of low-carbon energy options: Comparative assessment of alternative fuels for the transport sector," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 236(C), pages 590-606.


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