Hydex & HydexPLUS – The cost indices for hydrogen

Our reliable decision-making basis for your investment decision in the hydrogen economy.

Current Hydex

Hydex Green

Current index development:

139.22 EUR/MWh (19.61%)

Hydex12 Green 

Current index development:

116.07 EUR/MWh (37.91%)

Hydex Blue

Current index development:

73.74 EUR/MWh (0%)

Hydex Grey

Current index development:

76.86 EUR/MWh (0%)

Current HydexPLUS

HydexPLUS Green

Current index development:

144.17 EUR/MWh (-0.18%)

HydexPLUS Blue

Current index development:

94.06 EUR/MWh (-0.02%)

HydexPLUS Grey

Current index development:

90.03 EUR/MWh (-0.04%)

Current status and motivation for a cost index

The hydrogen market is currently limited to local islands and regional clusters. The physical trade and market development are constrained by a lack of adequate transportation infrastructure. Additionally, there is inadequate/unclear regulatory framework for the network transformation from natural gas to hydrogen. Several requirements need to be met for the development of a tradable commodity and a corresponding market development:
  • Transparency in pricing to promote efficient transactions
  • Reliable cost indication creates pricing certainty and confidence for supply and demand
  • Standardization enables risk management and hedging for manufacturers and customers
  • Generation of liquidity

The Hydex increases transparency in the hydrogen market

The Hydex is a daily published cost-based spot price index for the three most important hydrogen technologies, developed and published by E-Bridge. It is based on the marginal cost of hydrogen production without capital costs, transportation and distribution costs in Germany. The most important variable input parameters are the short-term (daily) electricity and gas market prices as well as the future market price for CO2 emissions (EUA).

Since its first publication in March 2021 on E-Bridge.de and in the Energate Messenger, the Hydex has made the costs and competitiveness of especially green “renewable” hydrogen visible and updated. This makes it possible to estimate reliable hydrogen prices for different technologies and to obtain a calculation aid for investment decisions in the hydrogen market.

The Hydex Green describes the marginal production costs of the electrolyzer. The electricity procurement costs are determined based on the Day-Ahead market. In addition, green electricity certificates for all the required electricity (EU Wind GoO) are included. According to the regulatory framework, the Hydex Green does not take into account grid fees, EEG surcharges, and electricity tax.

The Hydex12 Green describes the marginal production costs of the electrolyzer during the 12 most favorable hours of the day on average. The electricity procurement costs are determined on the basis of two 6-hour blocks per day, which would enable significantly cheaper hydrogen production on average and are largely covered by a high proportion of renewable electricity generation from wind and solar power.

The Hydex Blue describes the marginal production costs of the steam reformer. The gas procurement costs are determined based on the Day-Ahead market. The price includes the variable costs of CO2 capture, transport, and storage. Additionally, average grid fees for industrial customers’ natural gas procurement are assumed.

This text describes the Hydex Grey, which is a cost-based index for grey hydrogen production. The gas procurement costs are based on the day-ahead market. The index includes the emission costs based on the current EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) certificate prices, and average network charges for the gas procurement by industrial customers.

Basis for your investment decisions – the HydexPLUS

The Hydex serves as an indicator and simple pricing instrument based on electricity, gas, and CO2 prices. However, for investment decisions, a full cost index is required, which takes into account the cost-optimal operation of the production (electrolysis or reforming). The HydexPLUS includes the investment costs for electrolysis or reforming and a full utilization hours calculation.

The HydexPLUS describes the lowest full costs of hydrogen production. Based on the commodity prices of the past year (t-365 days), the variable operating costs of green, blue, and gray hydrogen production are calculated in a daily resolution and sorted in ascending order. Capital costs and operating costs are then accumulated in 24-hour steps, with full load hours given in discrete 24-hour steps. Exactly one full cost value is assigned per step. As full load hours increase, the influence of capital costs on full costs decreases, and more days with higher variable operating costs or commodity costs are included. This parameter variation results in a cost-optimal operating point or full load hour number with the lowest full costs.

The following parameter assumptions are the basis for the calculation:

Cost parameters   HydexPLUS Green HydexPLUS Blue HydexPLUS Grey
  Unit Electrolysis Natural gas with CCS Natural gas without CCS
Lifespan/depreciation period a 15 20 20
WACC % 8 8 8
Specific investment costs EUR/kW 1200 1450 800
Operation and Maintenance (O&M) % von Invest 2.20 3.00 4.70
Efficiency (based on lower heating value Hi) % 65 70 75
Electricity or gas fees EUR/MWh 6.12 9.55 9.55
Water costs EUR / m³ 4.00

Due to increased inflation values in the last two years and based on increasing experience values from reference projects, we have adjusted the specific investment costs of the electrolysis from 1000 to 1200 EUR/kW as of 01.10.2023. For the same reasons, the service life of the electrolysis was reduced from 20 to 15 years to account for the higher annual full load hours.

Our services related to the cost indices:

The Hydex is published daily as a marginal cost index for the three most important hydrogen production technologies. The HydexPLUS is published weekly for the previous year (8760 hours). In addition to these free offerings, E-Bridge provides consulting services related to the topic of hydrogen.

These services include:

  • Acquisition of historical data for the Hydex and the HydexPLUS
  • Individual calculations for the future development of the Hydex and the HydexPLUS
  • Cost-optimal capacity design and operation of electrolysis plants and reformers
  • Verification of business models and deployment and revenue planning of hydrogen production plants
  • Optimization of electricity and gas procurement (Tailormade PPAs) based on optimized operation and future electricity price projections

Your contact

Dr. Philipp Heuser
Principal Consultant