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Center for Sustainable Systems publishes hydrogen demand technical report

Center for Sustainable Systems


Hydrogen Deployment Potential in Michigan Industry and Transportation

Center for Sustainable Systems publishes hydrogen demand technical report


Ann Arbor, MI: The Center for Sustainable Systems (CSS) at the University of Michigan today published a technical report estimating future hydrogen demand in Michigan’s industrial and transportation sectors. The report, entitled “State of Michigan Hydrogen Demand Analysis: Current (2022), Near-term (2030), and Long-term (2050)”, is the final product of a capstone project by six graduate students in the School for Environment and Sustainability. The capstone project, advised by Dr. Gregory A. Keoleian, co-director of CSS and the University’s MI Hydrogen Initiative, examined current and potential future demand for hydrogen across Michigan in hard-to-abate industrial end-uses including petroleum refining, chemicals, pulp and paper, steelmaking, cement, glass, semiconductor manufacturing, as well as in medium- and heavy-duty vehicles (MHDV). The reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) and nitrogen oxide emissions associated with hydrogen deployment were also calculated. Hydrogen demand estimates are intended to inform the planning of a regional hydrogen ecosystem (linking production, distribution, and end uses) by identifying potential nodes of hydrogen use in key sectors in Michigan.

The research team collaborated with stakeholders throughout the state of Michigan to inform the analytical approach and collect primary data. If data were proprietary or unavailable, the research team utilized diverse sources, including decarbonization roadmaps, U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) reports, and federal datasets to fill data gaps. The team developed novel research methods to estimate fuel demand in industrial facilities from reported emissions and for MHDVs from vehicle-miles traveled, and used DOE’s Greenhouse gases, Regulated Emissions, and Energy use in Technologies (GREET) model to estimate emissions reductions associated with switching from incumbent fuels to hydrogen, considering upstream production emissions, combustion emissions, and hydrogen production pathways. 

Highlights from the technical report include:

  • Current (2022) demand was estimated at approximately 39,100 metric tons of hydrogen per year;
  • In the near term (2030), hydrogen demand could grow by as much as 60% driven by new opportunities in steelmaking and expansion in MHDV use; 
  • In the long-term (2050), hydrogen demand could grow between 420% to 2,700%, depending on costs, infrastructure, and scaling of production;
  • If produced through polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) electrolysis with renewable electricity, these demand growth scenarios could reduce GHG emissions by 20% or more.

Access the report here:

This project was supported by the School for Environment and Sustainability (SEAS) and the MI Hydrogen Initiative. 


About the Center for Sustainable Systems: For more than 30 years, CSS has pioneered systems science to accelerate real-world solutions to sustainability challenges across energy, transportation, the built environment, and food and water systems. Our mission is to advance systems science for climate action and a sustainable society. Follow our updates at 

About Hydrogen Energy: For background on hydrogen, see