Global land eligibility for green hydrogen production: a cost-potential curve analysis

Datum: November 2023

Autor: Tal Barak

Ausbildungsinstitution: Technische Universität München

Studiengang: Sustainable Resource Management

Betreuende Personen:

  • FfE: Dr.-Ing. Serafin von Roon, M.Sc. Tapio Schmidt-Achert, M.Sc. Miguel Martinez Perez
  • TUM: Dr.-Ing. Philipp Kuhn



Green hydrogen is becoming pivotal to the ongoing global energy transition, prompting numerous countries to strategize for its future supply. Its generation via electrolysis involves large spatial requirements for its underlying renewable energy source and adequate water supply, posing a challenge for countries limited by these resources to meet their future hydrogen demand domestically. These developments compel a global assessment of hydrogen potentials and the identification of favorable production locations capable of supporting both their domestic market and international export. This thesis addresses this imperative by developing and applying a comprehensive global land eligibility analysis, followed by estimating hydrogen potentials on a 50km² spatial resolution grid. Furthermore, this thesis uses a novel approach, evaluating global land eligibility constraints not only spatially but also in terms of hydrogen production potentials and their associated costs. The analysis revealed that economically viable hydrogen potentials are predominantly hindered by water scarcity, most notably in Africa. Additional major restrictors include protected areas, agricultural land, and the terrain slope. The eligible global land for hydrogen is estimated to have a production potential of 5,193 megatons per year, attainable within a maximal levelized cost of 12 €/kg as of 2020, surpassing projected worldwide demand significantly. Global hydrogen potentials are highly concentrated in very few countries, with Australia contributing 20% to the global potential and Kazakhstan, Brazil, Argentina, the United States, and Russia each accounting for 6% to 7%. The results of this thesis are shared in an interactive dashboard that facilitates flexible analysis across various geographic scopes.