Solar hydrogen production in urban areas of Mexico: towards hydrogen cities

Valeria Juárez-Casildo, Ilse Cervantes, R. de G. González-Huerta

Resultado de la investigación: Contribución a una revistaArtículorevisión exhaustiva

1 Cita (Scopus)


Many efforts have been made to assess the potential of green hydrogen production at global, regional, and national levels using Geographic Information Systems (GIS); however, many dismiss the possibility of producing hydrogen in urban settlements. In order to reveal the true potential of these areas, it is essential to provide arguments that allow evaluation of the feasibility of promoting and impulsing the concept of hydrogen cities. Based on this idea, this work assesses the monthly and annual potential of solar hydrogen in urban areas of Mexico using actual measurements of sunshine duration as electrolyzer production times. Moreover, as light transportation is crucial for cities, we examine the substitution of gasoline with hydrogen and its cost throughout the year. These constitute the main contribution of the present work. This study departs from the geographical and technical potential of solar energy, and by using GIS, the amount of hydrogen production per unit of area (Ton/(km2 year)) was computed. The levelized cost of hydrogen production (LCOH) is also evaluated, using two of the most popular and commercial electrolysis technologies: PEM and Alkaline. Our results revealed that Mexican urban areas have a high potential to produce solar hydrogen, having an average annual production that varies from 1991.8 Ton/km2 to 4338.3 Ton/km2 according to the region. The total solar hydrogen potential of all Mexican urban places is 9.39 MTon/year, which could satisfy up to 42.6 times the 2020 hydrogen demand of Mexico. We found that the national gasoline consumption could be replaced by H2, requiring between 42% and 52% of the total urban production. Additionally, the national average of LCOH was found to be about 6.25 USD/kg for alkaline electrolyzer and 9.50 USD/kg for PEM technology, considering the yearly average sunshine duration of 3237 h/year, which means that Mexico could be competitive at large-scale hydrogen production by using Alkaline technology. Our findings have the potential to impact positively on the country since they provide information to facilitate the derivation of public policies from a rigorous and technical perspective.

Idioma originalInglés
Páginas (desde-hasta)30012-30026
Número de páginas15
PublicaciónInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
EstadoPublicada - 15 ago. 2022


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