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Momentum builds behind a hydrogen-driven economy

According to analysis from Frost & Sullivan, hydrogen production will double by 2030 as the world advances towards a sustainable energy economy and countries battle climate change.

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Hydrogen production is predicted to reach 168 million tons by 2030
Hydrogen production is predicted to reach 168 million tons by 2030

Global hydrogen production is forecast to more than double, reaching 168 million tons by 2030 from 71 million tons in 2020, as the world advances towards a sustainable energy economy, new research finds. In the same period, revenue is expected to increase from $177.3bn to reach $420bn.

 

According to Frost & Sullivan’s analysis, countries across the world have started to consider a hydrogen-based economy as the answer to the growing concerns over increasing carbon emissions, energy security, and climate change.

 

Hydrogen economy

 

“For the hydrogen economy to become a reality, decisive government actions are required in four key areas,” said Swagath Navin Manohar, industry analyst, industrial practice at Frost & Sullivan.

 

“Support R&D activities related to technologies involved in the production, storage, transport, and utilisation of hydrogen and provide incentives to companies for developing the hydrogen and carbon capture utilisation and storage (CCUS) infrastructure.

 

“A roadmap towards a hydrogen economy needs to be developed, which addresses the socio-economic barriers inhibiting growth of the technology and mandating policies towards decarbonisation.”

 

Frost & Sullivan’s notes growth opportunities for market participants will vary considerably, depending on the region:

  • Australia: with abundant renewable energy resources (RES) and natural gas reserves, the country could efficiently utilise these attributes to become and remain a substantial player in the hydrogen value chain
  • China: China has accelerated the development of hydrogen-based technologies and hydrogen infrastructure in recent years after recognising the importance of hydrogen in its transition from a carbon-based to a hydrogen-based economy
  • France: under the new “The Hydrogen Plan”, France aims to reach 10 per cent zero-carbon hydrogen adoption for industrial applications by 2023 and 40 per cent by 2028
  • Germany: Germany is a global leader in the development of hydrogen and fuel cell (FC) technologies. A majority of the focus on hydrogen technologies, public and private R&D, pilot and demonstration projects is towards strengthening the country’s automotive industry

“A roadmap towards a hydrogen economy needs to be developed, which addresses the socio-economic barriers inhibiting growth of the technology and mandating policies towards decarbonisation”

  • India: despite enormous potential and abundant RES and coal reserves, India is still in its early stages in the adoption of hydrogen technology
  • Japan: Japan is heavily investing (through public funding) in R&D related to production, storage, and development of the hydrogen infrastructure for import and utilisation across various areas
  • United Kingdom: in order to meet its net zero-carbon target by 2050, the country should capitalise on its economic growth and abundant RES capacity and scale its hydrogen technology solutions and infrastructure
  • US: the country is also likely to become the largest exporter of hydrogen and developer of hydrogen infrastructure across Latin America, Africa and Southeast Asia.

“While the cost of establishing a hydrogen economy will be high, the promises associated with hydrogen – as an important tool in catalysing the transition towards sustainable energy economy – are huge,” added Manohar.

 

“Although the current application of hydrogen is mainly in the industrial sector, it could be used as a fuel across the mobility, maritime and aviation sectors, and as an energy storage system (ESS) across the power generation sector.”

 

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