ucIn Power-to-X (PtX) solutions, the surplus energy produced by renewable sources such as wind and solar is stored in a chemical energy carrier. Typically, hydrogen from electrolysis is then converted into more portable compounds such as ammonia, methane, methanol and synthetic e-fuels. Of these carriers, green ammonia (NH3) from PtX is becoming increasingly important in the energy mix due to the relatively low cost of production and transportation.
An extended global has just been published by the Fraunhofer Institute for Energy Economics and Energy System Technology (IEE). The atlas analyses and maps the production potential of ammonia across 97 countries worldwide as well as the associated logistical economics, up to 2050 and beyond. It’s supported by the German Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action.
The nitrogen-hydrogen compound is already widely used in the production of fertilizers, but can also be used as source of hydrogen. In comparison with PtX hydrocarbons, green NH3 also has the advantage that no CO2 is required to make it. The nitrogen for the reaction can be obtained from the ambient air, for example.
The analyses for 2050 reveal the total costs of importing NH3 into Europe is lower than other PtX carriers. For example, when imported from Morocco, the costs are around 18 percent lower. Chile and Argentina also show great promise as suppliers of green NH3, where the total costs of production average around EUR 100 per MW/h.
Canada comes out on top as a potentially large ammonia producer with a stable political climate. Keen to reduce its dependency on Russian gas, several European energy suppliers have already signed agreements to receive up to a million tonnes of green ammonia from Canada’s east coast, starting in 2025.
“The PtX Atlas highlights the locations where producing green ammonia... for export to Europe is viable - and where other PtX energy carriers have advantages," summarises Maximilian Pfennig, project manager at the IEE in a .