Project: State-of-the-Art Modelling of Hydrogen Infrastructure Development for the UK

Reference: SRT 7/2/6

Last update: 10/04/2013 15:20:13


The aim of the project is to develop a GIS-based spatial model for the optimisation of hydrogen infrastructure for the UK, to allow the explicit consideration of hydrogen distribution.

Specific objectives are:

to incorporate both spatial and temporal dissaggregation into hydrogen infastructure modelling for the UK;

to anchor this innovative modelling approach within a consistent energy systems framework to account for multiple interactions between different resources, energy carriers and sectoral demands;

to gain insights into how build-up of hydrogen infrastructure might occur in the UK to 2030 and beyond, and how different strategies for introducing hydrogen on a regional/city basis might affect its competitiveness;

to identify the appropriate resources for hydrogen production in different regions of the UK, in order to cost-efficiently maximise carbon dioxide emissions reductions from the overall UK energy system over the period to 2050; and,

to explicitly model different pathways of hydrogen infrastructure development and compare the results of introducing spatial and temporal detail.


The project is an innovative modelling effort to map out the potential evolution of hydrogen infrastructures in the UK, in the context of changes in the overall energy system. The modelling outputs will quantify the costs, timing, required policy initiatives, and CO2 emissions implications for such infrastructure development. A consistent energy systems framework will account for multiple interactions between different resources, energy carriers and sectoral demands, highlighting potential interactions between a future hydrogen economy and other parts of the energy system. The groundbreaking aspect of this work is to extend existing energy system modelling capabilities to incorporate both spatial and temporal disaggregation of hydrogen infrastructure modelling. It will do this by characterising at a regional and seasonal/diurnal scale the UK's primary energy resources and transportation (and other energy) demands. This approach ensures that the results produced reflect two critical aspects: the distribution of hydrogen and its role in energy storage.

The outputs of this analysis will directly contribute to DfT policy initiatives in three key ways. Firstly it will produce insights into dominant pathways at a regional scale for the evolution of hydrogen infrastructure in the UK, to 2030 and beyond. This includes the primary energy resources for hydrogen production and potential interactions between the electricity and hydrogen transport systems, especially at substantial penetrations of intermittent renewables. Secondly, scenarios for global and domestic drivers will generate levels and timing of policy interventions required to stimulate regional and national hydrogen infrastructures. And thirdly, the model will deliver costs of hydrogen fuels and infrastructures over time, allowing comparison with existing or alternate energy infrastructures. As such, powerful insights will be generated into the potential build-up of hydrogen infrastructures in the UK and resultant cost, environmental and security of supply implications.


Policy Studies Institute
50 Hanson Street, London, W1W 6UP
020 7911 7500

Contract details

Cost to the Department: £119,050.00

Actual start date: 01 September 2006

Actual completion date: 25 February 2008


Author: Dr Neil Strachan, Dr Nazmiye Balta-Ozkan, Ramachandran Kannan, Nicholas Hughes, Kate McGeevor
Publication date: 18/02/2008
Source: Policy Studies Institute
More information:

Summary of results

    Geographical, temporal and technological optimisation modelling
    Final Report Feb 08