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WIREs Energy Environ.
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Use of electric vehicles or hydrogen in the Danish transport sector in 2050?

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Denmark has an ambitious long‐term goal to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the transport sector with an overall climate target to be independent of fossil‐fuel consumption by 2050. We compare a likely scenario with two alternative ways to achieve the goal—either with a high percentage of electric vehicles (EV) or with a high percentage of hydrogen use for transportation. The STREAM model—an energy scenario simulating tool—is used to model the different scenarios and their integration with the electricity and heating systems. The major findings are that an increased share of EV can reduce the socioeconomic cost of the energy system in 2050. However, electricity demand for H2 generation via electrolysis is more flexible than EV charging and the production can therefore, to a larger degree be used to out‐balance variable electricity surplus from a high share of wind energy in the power system, reducing the investments in backup capacity. Whether the hydrogen scenario (H2S) is more costly to implement than the EV scenario (EVS) mainly depends on the technological development—especially the improvement on the efficiency of the conversion from electricity to H2 and the cost of the hydrogen fuel cell vehicle. Therefore, the major drivers of a successful H2S are a high efficient flexible H2 production in 2050 and lower vehicle costs, which increase the stability of the power grid, compared to the EVS. Hence, from a socioeconomic view point, the technological path in innovation to achieve fossil‐free transport systems should have vehicle costs and electrolyzers efficiency as their main drivers toward 2050. WIREs Energy Environ 2017, 6:e233. doi: 10.1002/wene.233 This article is categorized under: Wind Power > Economics and Policy Energy Systems Economics > Economics and Policy Energy Policy and Planning > Economics and Policy
Fuel use today in Denmark (2012). Measured as fuel consumption in percent for person transportation work (p × km) or in percent for freight transportation work (t × km) (*Transport of goods).
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Sensitivity analysis for the hydrogen scenario (H2S) compared to the carbon neutral scenario (CNS). AEC, alkaline electrolyzer; FEV, fuel cell vehicles.
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Sensitivity analysis for the electric vehicle scenario (EVS) compared to the carbon neutral scenario (CNS).
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Cost difference between the hydrogen scenario (H2S) and the carbon neutral scenario (CNS); negative values indicate that H2S is cheaper than CNS for that category.
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Power generation and consumption with and without flexible demand for the hydrogen scenario in a winter week in year 2050.
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Cost difference between the electric vehicle scenario (EVS) and the carbon neutral scenario (CNS); negative values indicate that EVS is cheaper than CNS for that category.
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Total annual system costs (mill €) in 2050 for the carbon neutral scenario (CNS), electric vehicle scenario (EVS), and the hydrogen scenario (H2S).
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Mix of district heating production in 2050 in the different scenarios. CHP, combined heat and power.
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Power generation and consumption with and without flexible demand for the electric vehicle scenario in a winter week in year 2050.
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Mix of electricity production in 2050 in the different scenarios.
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Fuel use in the hydrogen scenario in 2050. Measured as fuel consumption in percent for person transportation work (p × km) or percent for freight transportation work (t × km) (*Transport of goods).
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Model structure in STREAM.
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Fuel use in the electric vehicle scenario in 2050. Measured as fuel consumption in percent for person transportation work (p × km) or percent for freight transportation work (t × km) (*Transport of goods).
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Fuel use in transport sector in the carbon neutral scenario in 2050. Measured as fuel consumption in percent for person transportation work (p × km) or percent for freight transportation work (t × km) (*Transport of goods).
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