The introduction of environmentally friendly innovations in both transport and energy sectors are included in the list of priorities of the European Union political agenda. This paper investigates the environmental consequences of the introduction of hydrogen and fuel cells technology in the European economic system by applying environmental input-output analysis and life cycle assessment tools. Hydrogen is produced through the reforming of natural gas and it is employed in fuel cells buses that offer transport services to final consumers. We have built three scenarios based on different assumptions on the final demand. We have shown the results for three impact categories: global warming, photochemical oxidation and acidification. The results suggest that the use of hydrogen in fuel cells buses is only environmentally desirable if accompanied either by the employment of renewable sources or by carbon dioxide capture, or both.
- Environmental input-output analysis
- Hydrogen and fuel cells technology
- Life cycle assessment