DeV-KopSys II – Global GIS-based potential analysis and cost assessment of Power-to-X fuels in 2050

Electricity-based fuels from renewable energies are regarded as a key instrument for climate protection. These Power-to-X (PtX) products are to replace fossil fuels in sectors where direct use of electricity from renewable energies is not possible. We investigate the production potential of PtX fuels from onshore wind energy and ground-mounted photovoltaic energy for all countries outside the European Economic Area along 14 PtX production pathways. These include hydrogen, several hydrocarbons and ammonia. The technical and economic potential assessment is based on data with hourly temporal and high spatial resolution. The analysis considers various criteria, including weather conditions, nature conservation concerns and land use. The results show the production quantities and costs of climate-friendly fuel production under strict sustainability criteria and locate them spatially. It is shown that many regions of the world are well suited to produce PtX products. The production quantity outside Europe is up to 120,000 TWh/yr of hydrogen or 87,000 TWh/yr of hydrocarbons in the long term. We identify 97 countries with potentials, of which 38 countries possess relevant potentials of more than 100 TWh/yr. The largest suitable areas are in the United States, Australia and Argentina. The production costs vary a lot across the different regions. The lowest production costs for PtX generation are in Latin America (Chile, Argentina and Venezuela) and Mauritania with a lower limit of 42.3 EUR/MWh to 46.5 EUR/MWh for gaseous hydrogen and 84 EUR/MWh to 89.1 EUR/MWh for Fischer-Tropsch fuels. All best sites are pure wind or combined wind and photovoltaic sites. Moreover, we show import options of these PtX products to Europe considering socioeconomic factors and transport costs. Read more