Imperial College London


Faculty of Natural SciencesCentre for Environmental Policy

Lecturer in Sustainable Energy Systems



+44 (0)20 7594 9570i.staffell




202Weeks BuildingSouth Kensington Campus






BibTex format

author = {Schmidt, O and Gambhir, A and Staffell, IL and Hawkes, A and Nelson, J and Few, S},
doi = {10.1016/j.ijhydene.2017.10.045},
journal = {International Journal of Hydrogen Energy},
pages = {30470--30492},
title = {Future cost and performance of water electrolysis: An expert elicitation study},
url = {},
volume = {42},
year = {2017}

RIS format (EndNote, RefMan)

AB - The need for energy storage to balance intermittent and inflexible electricity supply with demand is driving interest in conversion of renewable electricity via electrolysis into a storable gas. But, high capital cost and uncertainty regarding future cost and performance improvements are barriers to investment in water electrolysis. Expert elicitations can support decision-making when data are sparse and their future development uncertain. Therefore, this study presents expert views on future capital cost, lifetime and efficiency for three electrolysis technologies: alkaline (AEC), proton exchange membrane (PEMEC) and solid oxide electrolysis cell (SOEC). Experts estimate that increased R&D funding can reduce capital costs by 0–24%, while production scale-up alone has an impact of 17–30%. System lifetimes may converge at around 60,000–90,000 h and efficiency improvements will be negligible. In addition to innovations on the cell-level, experts highlight improved production methods to automate manufacturing and produce higher quality components. Research into SOECs with lower electrode polarisation resistance or zero-gap AECs could undermine the projected dominance of PEMEC systems. This study thereby reduces barriers to investment in water electrolysis and shows how expert elicitations can help guide near-term investment, policy and research efforts to support the development of electrolysis for low-carbon energy systems.
AU - Schmidt,O
AU - Gambhir,A
AU - Staffell,IL
AU - Hawkes,A
AU - Nelson,J
AU - Few,S
DO - 10.1016/j.ijhydene.2017.10.045
EP - 30492
PY - 2017///
SN - 0360-3199
SP - 30470
TI - Future cost and performance of water electrolysis: An expert elicitation study
T2 - International Journal of Hydrogen Energy
UR -
UR -
VL - 42
ER -