The master thesis “Sector Coupling: Practices, Players and Business Models in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland” examines the concept of sector coupling for the German speaking countries by looking at its players and business models in particular. Here is the abstract:
The climate goals set by the European Union demand a shift in the energy sector. The replacement of fossil energy sources by renewables causes higher volatility in the energy supply which demands flexibility options. Sector coupling is an emerging concept that promotes the energy transition and the achievement of climate goals. This thesis focuses on the enabling technology of power-to-gas and green hydrogen as an energy carrier in multiple application fields. Therefore, the future green hydrogen value chain is analyzed with its entry barriers. Second, current projects are examined to detect best practices and key players in the transition. Lastly, potential business models for green hydrogen including their environmental and social impact are outlined. The thesis aims to provide relevant actors with a holistic view on the topic to promote facilitate decision-making and promote the development of a hydrogen economy. The guiding questions of this thesis are “What are best practices for Power-to-Gas as enabling technology in Austria, Germany, and Switzerland?” and “What are sustainable business models for green hydrogen?”. The results of this thesis show the potential future hydrogen value chain from production to the end-consumption with four clusters of current entry barriers for pioneers in the market that need to be overcome. Moreover, the findings of multiple green hydrogen projects provide information about best practices and relevant players in the hydrogen economy. Finally, two main business models could be identified: hydrogen as a feedstock and hydrogen as an energy carrier. Additionally, the environmental and social implications of the emerging green hydrogen economy are outlined. This thesis is an attempt to identify suitable business models for sector coupling options using green hydrogen and is therefore a foundation for future research.