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Hydrogen Production Cost Analysis

NREL analyzed the cost of hydrogen production via wind-based water electrolysis at 42 potential sites in 11 states across the nation. This analysis included centralized plants producing the Department of Energy (DOE) target of 50,000 kg of hydrogen per day, using both wind and grid electricity. The use of wind and grid electricity can be balanced either by power or cost, including or excluding the purchase of peak summer electricity. Current wind incentives—such as the Production Tax Credit (PTC), Investment Tax Credit (ITC), and Treasury Grant—can reduce hydrogen costs approximately $1/kg and are crucial to meeting DOE cost targets.

Use this interactive tool to explore the results of NREL's analysis. Select the analysis options you wish to see and then click on the results in the map to learn more about the economics of producing hydrogen from wind power. For more information, refer to the U.S. Geographic Analysis of the Cost of Hydrogen from Electrolysis paper or the Wind-to-Hydrogen Cost Modeling and Project Findings webinar.

Summer Peak Purchase
  Yes No
Power Balanced
Cost Balanced
Other Variables
Enable PTC/ITC/Treasury Grant 1
Target Cost2
Compression, Storage, and Dispensing Costs3

View a text version of the map data.

1 The combined effects of the production tax credit (PTC), Investment Tax Credit (ITC) and Treasury Grant reduce wind electricity prices $0.02/kWh. The effect is assumed over the entire 20-year span of the projects in this analysis. Refer to: Wiser, R., Bolinger, M., 2010 Wind Technologies Market Report. DOE/GO-102011-3322. Golden, CO: NREL, 2011.

2 The 2015 U.S. Department of Energy cost targets (in 2007 dollars) are $3.10/kg for central hydrogen plants and $3.70/kg for distributed hydrogen plants. Refer to: 2011 Interim Update Hydrogen Production Multi-Year Research, Development and Demonstration Plan.

3 The costs of compressing, storing, and dispensing (CSD) hydrogen are adjusted from $1.88/kg H2 in 2005 dollars to $2.00/kg H2 in 2007 dollars using the U.S. Macroeconomic Indicators and Carbon Dioxide Emissions table. For more information about CSD costs, refer to: Genovese, J., et al. Current (2009) State-of-the-Art Hydrogen Production Cost Estimate Using Water Electrolysis: Independent Review. NREL/BK-6A1-46676. Golden, CO: NREL, 2009.

4 Site ID references the Eastern Wind Dataset or the Western Wind Dataset, as appropriate.

5 Cost adjusted to 2007 dollars, accurate to two significant figures.