Relative costs of transporting electrical and chemical energy

Fadl H. Saadi, Nathan S. Lewis, Eric W. McFarland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Transportation costs of energy resources are important when determining the overall economics of future energy infrastructure. The majority of long distance energy transmission occurs via merchant ships and pipelines carrying oil or natural gas. In contrast, future energy scenarios often envision vastly altered energy transportation scenarios including very high degrees of grid electrification and widespread installation of hydrogen pipelines. The unit cost of energy transportation varies by over two orders of magnitude. In particular, the costs of electricity and hydrogen transmission are substantially higher than the cost of oil and natural gas transportation. If carbon pricing is to be used to incentivize alternative energy systems, these differences in costs will need to be reduced and used when making meaningful technology comparisons.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)469-475
Number of pages7
JournalEnergy and Environmental Science
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Pollution

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