Techno-economic assessment of offshore hydrogen production in the Dutch North Sea

Comparative analysis of offshore hydrogen and electrical infrastructure with green hydrogen import using standardized breakdown and open-source cost model

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To stay on track for the 1.5°C pathway of the Paris Agreement, an accelerated energy transition is essential. Efficient offshore energy infrastructure planning, incorporating novel methods, is crucial and requires transparent, industry-wide discussion. However, two main challenges emerge: (i) the often-overlooked integration of energy islands in literature and (ii) the lack of a standardized techno-economic comparison method. A comprehensive review of offshore wind supply chain feasibility studies highlighted the need for explicit implementation of standardization, syntax and semantics in model development. Detailed assessment of international and industry standards revealed that no single standard fully covers the study's scope. Nevertheless, one ISO standard showed significant similarities in component definitions, with which this study's component definition is maximally aligned. The developed open-source model enables automated supply chain configuration generation, eventually calculating economic metrics such as the Levelized Cost of Hydrogen (LCOH). Applying the developed techno-economic model to the 19.5GW case study hub North in the North Sea Energy programme demonstrated its applicability and the techno-economic advantages of integrating an offshore energy island. The key finding is that island-based configurations are economically more efficient for hydrogen production compared to platform or onshore setups. Comparison with other studies on hydrogen import indicates that the calculated LCOH range of 8.54 - 10.40 €/kg has the potential to compete with hydrogen imports, which often have overly optimistic estimates ranging from 4 to 9 €/kg. Ultimately, in this way, a standardized, transparent method for industry-wide collaboration is presented.