Simon Schulte

Senior Visiting Research Fellow

Dr Simon Schulte analyses the economics and regulation of hydrogen and natural gas. He is Manager and Head of Gas Markets at the Institute of Energy Economics (EWI) at the University of Cologne. His responsibilities include the acquisition, operation and execution of projects for industrial clients and the public sector. In applied research and consulting projects, he has examined the European and global perspectives of hydrogen and natural gas markets. He has advised, e.g. the German Federal Foreign Office, the German Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) and the European Commission. Furthermore, he worked as a consultant in the Energy Market and Security Directorate at the International Energy Agency (IEA) in Paris. His research focus lies in the economic modelling and analysis of energy markets.

Simon Schulte holds a PhD in economics from the University of Cologne. Before, he studied industrial engineering with a major in chemical and energy engineering at the Münster University of Applied Sciences, the University of California in Los Angeles, the Norwegian School of Economics and the Dresden University of Technology.

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                    [post_content] => European countries approach the market ramp-up of hydrogen very differently. In some cases, the economic and political starting points differ significantly. While the probability is high that some countries, such as Germany or Italy, will import hydrogen in the long term, other countries, such as United Kingdom, France or Spain, could become hydrogen exporters. The reasons for this are the higher potential for renewable energies but also a technology-neutral approach on the supply side.

In the study "Contrasting European Hydrogen Pathways: An Analysis of Differing Approaches in Key Markets", the Institute of Energy Economics at the University of Cologne (EWI), together with the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies (OIES), analysed what the economic and political parameters relevant to a future hydrogen economy look like in the six European countries Germany, France, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom.

Green hydrogen, produced by electrolysis using water and electricity from renewable sources, is favoured by the southern European countries - Spain and Italy. Both are characterised by a high potential for renewable energies, especially photovoltaics. Germany also relies exclusively on producing green hydrogen in its National Hydrogen Strategy.

France is taking a special path. Due to its large share of nuclear energy in the electricity mix, the country relies among other technologies on nuclear-based hydrogen. The advantage: It can be produced cost-effectively in times of low electricity demand. Although the long-term significance of nuclear energy in France is unclear, this approach could ensure a fast and cost-effective market ramp-up with hydrogen in the short- and medium-term.

In heavy industry, hydrogen could be of central importance for decarbonisation. However, future demand also depends heavily on the price. In this respect, import-dependent countries such as Germany, which will not have sufficient domestically produced hydrogen available in the foreseeable future due to limited potential for renewable energies, could be at a disadvantage.
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                    [post_content] => With European natural gas consumption having declined since the beginning of this decade it may seem strange to focus on transmission system bottlenecks in a regional market which, having seen dramatic expansion since its inception in the late 1960s, has at best only modest growth potential.

Work by Beatrice Petrovich examining the price correlation of European gas trading hubs suggests that the capacity and contractual relationships of Europe’s transmission system lagged behind changing supply flow patterns and the responsiveness required to allow gas to flow freely in response to hub price supply signals in a liberalising market.

Projecting forward to 2030 this paper, using the EWI TIGER model, looks at how bottlenecks may change under two scenarios based on high and low cases for LNG and Russian pipeline gas imports respectively, in the context of modest European gas demand growth. Bottlenecks are examined both in terms of LNG and pipeline import capacity at the European border and at critical interconnector points within Europe.

This paper should be of interest at a strategic level for commercial participants in the gas market and also for regulators and system operators charged with ensuring that future infrastructure is in place to facilitate pan-European traded markets against a background of changing supply patterns.

This paper is the product of excellent co-operation between OIES and ewi Energy Research and Scenarios.
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Green hydrogen, produced by electrolysis using water and electricity from renewable sources, is favoured by the southern European countries - Spain and Italy. Both are characterised by a high potential for renewable energies, especially photovoltaics. Germany also relies exclusively on producing green hydrogen in its National Hydrogen Strategy.

France is taking a special path. Due to its large share of nuclear energy in the electricity mix, the country relies among other technologies on nuclear-based hydrogen. The advantage: It can be produced cost-effectively in times of low electricity demand. Although the long-term significance of nuclear energy in France is unclear, this approach could ensure a fast and cost-effective market ramp-up with hydrogen in the short- and medium-term.

In heavy industry, hydrogen could be of central importance for decarbonisation. However, future demand also depends heavily on the price. In this respect, import-dependent countries such as Germany, which will not have sufficient domestically produced hydrogen available in the foreseeable future due to limited potential for renewable energies, could be at a disadvantage.
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Latest Publications by Simon Schulte