Resource Assessment for Hydrogen Production

Elizabeth Connelly, Michael Penev, Anelia Milbrandt, Billy Roberts, Nicholas Gilroy, Marc Melaina

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


This analysis was conducted in support of the U.S. Department of Energy's H2@Scale initiative, and this report examines the resources required to meet demand for an additional 10 million metric tonnes (MMT) of hydrogen in 2040. The technical potential of hydrogen production from fossil, nuclear, and renewable energy resources is presented. Updated maps describe the geographical distribution of hydrogen production potential from renewable energy resources. The results conclude that the technical resource availability of domestic energy resources is sufficient to meet an additional 10 MMT of hydrogen demand in 2040, without placing significant pressure on existing resources. While this level of hydrogen demand could result in a significant increase in renewable energy consumption, in particular, the technical potential of each resource is estimated to be sufficient to meet the demand. Future research, to enable the large-scale integration of hydrogen in the U.S. energy and other sectors, will include analyzing the geographic distribution of resources in relation to hydrogen demand for a variety of applications. Additional techno-economic analysis is also needed to understand the economic potential of hydrogen in other industries, beyond transportation; such analysis is currently being undertaken by a multi-lab project initiated by DOE in 2016. Finally, information from techno-economic analyses should be used to continually update and inform R&D targets for energy production, hydrogen production, and hydrogen utilization technologies.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages69
StatePublished - 2020

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-5400-77198


  • hydrogen
  • resource assessment


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