No. 109: Advances in Power-to-Gas Technologies: Cost and Conversion Efficiency

Year: 2022
Type: Working Paper


Widespread adoption of hydrogen as an energy carrier is widely believed to require continued advances in Power-to-Gas (PtG) technologies. Here we provide a comprehensive assessment of the dynamics of system prices and conversion efficiency for three currently prevalent PtG technologies: alkaline, polymer electrolyte membrane, and solid oxide cell electrolysis. We analyze global data points for system prices, energy consumption, and the cumulative installed capacity for each technology. Our regression results establish that, over the past two decades, every doubling of cumulative installed capacity resulted in system prices coming down by 14-17%, while the energy required for electrolysis was reduced by 2%. Incorporating multiple forecasts of future deployment growth, our calculations project that, in the coming decade, all three technologies will become substantially more economical than previously thought. Specifically, the life-cycle cost of electrolytic hydrogen production is projected to get close to the $1.0/kg cost target set by the U.S. Department of Energy for the year 2030.

Participating Institutions

TRR 266‘s main locations are Paderborn University (Coordinating University), HU Berlin, and University of Mannheim. All three locations have been centers for accounting and tax research for many years. They are joined by researchers from LMU Munich, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management, WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management, ESMT Berlin and Goethe University Frankfurt who share the same research agenda.