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Scenarios of a Hydrogen Economy 2040


Ulli Lorenz

Aug 31, 2022

In this blog post (, I raised the first set of questions relevant to our scenario process. Meanwhile, we had a series of interviews with our experts, drafted a list of influencing factors and defined the scope of the scenarios.

Title of the Scenarios

Hydrogen Economy in Europe 2040

Geographical Scope

Europe 27—Embedded in a global context

Time Frame


Purpose of the scenarios

The aim is to develop positive Scenarios: How does Europe look like, when there is abundant fuel (H2) available?

The exercise is exploratory and open; in the first stage.

How can and must European R&I policy support the transition? Where are the obstacles, drivers and barriers?

Are we in the risk to run in lock-in-effects? How to prepare the context for the energy transition? Which developments support and hinder the transition?

What's in?

The socio-economic, sociotechnical and socio-environmental developments inside and outside Europe that are influenced by a Hydrogen economy and that influence themselves the transition towards the Hydrogen economy.

What's out?

  • Technical details of hydrogen technology, including e.g. electrolysers, fuel cells, transport details and alike.

  • Worst case scenarios

We collected the following list of factors:


  • Global power constellation

  • Access to raw materials and other resources

  • Global consumption patterns

  • Global economic growth

  • Role of the global south

  • Impacts of climate change

  • Global migration flows

  • Openness and volume of global trade

  • Geopolitical stability / Conflict and war

  • Global Communication and Mobility Patterns

European Context & Policy

  • European cohesion and role of European Commission

  • Degree of autonomy & self-sufficiency of Europe

  • Industrial and R&I policy


  • Industrial production and energy demand

  • Implementation of Circular Economy

  • Emission Trading (EU ETS)

  • Economic orientation and development

  • Regionalisation of the economy


  • Values and sustainability of lifestyle

  • Level of integration and inclusion; social equity/justice

  • Degree of public engagement

Technology (except Hydrogen technology)

  • Innovativeness and experimentation (from precautionary risk averse to risk-taking)

  • Electrification of sectors / dependence on fuels

  • The organisation of the energy systems (central vs regional)

  • Role and advances of digital transformation


Which factors do you think are the most important for building the scenarios?

Take part in our small survey and learn more about the influencing factors:





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