Hydrogen, a versatile element, has gained considerable attention as a promising subset of the clean energy sector. The wide range of applications and the potential for future expansion make it an intriguing topic. In this article, we will explore the current analysis of the hydrogen market and its key findings, growth drivers and the role of governments in shaping the hydrogen industry. Let’s delve into the exciting world of hydrogen and its potential for a cleaner and more sustainable future.
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Market analysis in brief
Hydrogen is now produced on a commercial basis and has become a phenomenal global industry, providing energy to industrial users around the world. However, its full potential for the clean energy transition has yet to be realized. Currently, less than 5% of the world’s energy is derived from hydrogen, but with the support of aggressive government programs, it has the potential to account for about a quarter of the world’s energy consumption by 2050.
Hydrogen finds applications in various sectors such as oil refining, chemical production, steel production, transport, aviation, etc. Additionally, it can be used to produce fertilizers, heat homes, generate power, balance power grids, and support heavy industries such as steel and cement production.
The hydrogen market
Key findings of the report
According to recent market analysis, the size of the hydrogen market is projected to reach approximately $328 billion by the end of 2030. Global sustainability and clean energy are paving the way for the creation of a reliable futuristic hydrogen ecosystem.
Despite its potential, hydrogen generation capacity has yet to meet the demands of mainstream applications such as fuel cell vehicles. However, the role of governments will be instrumental in accelerating the growth of the hydrogen industry. Field production currently leads the market, accounting for over 75% of the total hydrogen market revenue.
Asia Pacific, led by China, maintains dominance in the hydrogen market with more than 40% of the total market value. The region is experiencing significant growth due to its commitment to sustainability and the clean energy transition.
Governments accelerate their journey to sustainability
In recent years, a growing number of countries have committed to achieving net zero emissions and reducing their carbon footprint. Environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) initiatives have brought clean energy markets such as hydrogen into the spotlight. Governments around the world are developing regulatory policies and investing in hydrogen technologies to promote sustainability. Over 30 countries have issued hydrogen roadmaps with national strategies in place and significant public funding has been committed to decarbonisation through hydrogen technologies.
The emergence of clean energy players and companies diversifying into the hydrogen sector is another encouraging sign. Energy giants like NextEra, Iberdrola and Uniper are getting into green hydrogen, challenging the dominance of oil companies. The rapid growth of electric vehicles (EVs) is also creating opportunities for hydrogen fuel, as it offers energy efficiency and eliminates the need for extended charging.
Sustainability targets drive blue and green hydrogen production
Hydrogen can be obtained through various methods, including gray hydrogen (without CCS), blue hydrogen (with CCS), and green hydrogen. Gray hydrogen, produced from fossil fuels without carbon capture and storage, currently dominates the market. However, the share of blue and green hydrogen is expected to increase significantly.
Blue hydrogen is produced by capturing CO2 emissions from facilities, while green hydrogen is generated through electrolysis of water using renewable energy sources. The market expects a significant growth rate for both blue and green hydrogen, with blue hydrogen taking the lead due to its cost effectiveness and the existing infrastructure supporting its production.
The hydrogen generation market has a long way to go before mainstream adoption
Hydrogen finds applications in various sectors, including refining, ammonia production, methanol production, iron and steel production, chemical industry, transportation and more. Currently, refining holds the largest share of the market, accounting for 48% by value in 2022. However, the transportation segment is projected to witness the strongest growth through 2030, driven by increasing demand for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.
Although hydrogen is gaining importance in various industries, its adoption rate is still relatively low, especially in sectors where it is underutilized, such as transportation, building and construction, and power generation. Industry must focus on expanding its reach and replacing fossil-based hydrogen with clean alternatives to achieve significant emissions reductions.
Overview of key segments
Capturing hydrogen production in the country will lead to 2030
In terms of generation types, locally captured production dominates the hydrogen market, accounting for 75% of total revenue. Captive production refers to hydrogen produced exclusively for self-consumption within a facility. These facilities mainly cater to large industrial customers in the country. On the other hand, commercial plants supply hydrogen to the larger market, with only a small fraction of their capacity available for distribution. Byproduct hydrogen, which can be vented or sold to traders, is another segment of the hydrogen production market.
Growth opportunities across regions
Europe will record the highest growth until 2030
China is currently the largest consumer of hydrogen, followed by the United States and the Middle East. However, Europe is expected to witness significant growth in the hydrogen market by 2030. Several planned and feasible hydrogen generation projects in Europe and North America are driving this growth. These regions are also at the top of pure hydrogen supply volumes, with Europe leading in terms of announced supply.
Globally, investments in the mobility sector and new industrial end-uses such as steel production account for approximately 30% of all announced investments. Existing industry end-uses, such as ammonia and refining, receive about 25% of investment. Total investment in hydrogen projects has tripled since 2021, with a significant shift towards clean hydrogen replacing fossil-based hydrogen.
Global Hydrogen Generation Market: Major Players
Key players in the global hydrogen generation market include Royal Dutch Shell, Totalenergies, Adani Green, Air Liquide, Air Products, Bloom Energy Corp., CTP Hydrogen, Chevron Hydrogen Company LLC, Doosan Fuel Cell, FuelCell Energy, Inc., Linde Plc, Plug Power, Inc., and others. These companies are actively contributing to the growth and development of the hydrogen industry through their innovative solutions and investments.
Here are some notable recent developments in the hydrogen industry:
- In July 2022, Shell Plc began construction of a renewable hydrogen plant in the Netherlands. Once operational by 2025, it is expected to become the largest renewable hydrogen facility in Europe.
- In June 2022, Adani and TotalEnergies entered into a strategic partnership to create the world’s largest green hydrogen ecosystem. TotalEnergies acquired 25% minority interest in Adani New Industries Ltd (ANIL) from Adani Enterprises Ltd (AEL) as part of this alliance.
In conclusion, hydrogen’s wide range of applications and potential for the clean energy transition make it an exciting and promising subset of the clean energy sector. With the support of governments and sustainability targets, the hydrogen market is expected to witness significant growth in the coming years. By embracing blue and green hydrogen production and focusing on mainstream adoption, we can pave the way for a cleaner and more sustainable future.
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