“Hydrogen Generation Market size is projected to reach USD 201 billion by 2025 from an estimated USD 130 billion in 2020, at a CAGR of 9.2% during the forecast period. Increasing fuel cell power generation application is driving the growth of the market. Moreover, increasing adoption of electric vehicles leads to renewable energy deployment at large scale in Asia Pacific region, creates opportunities for hydrogen generation market.
Driver: Government regulations for desulfurization and greenhouse gas emissions
Greenhouse emissions are increasing globally, primarily due to the consumption of fossil fuels and industrialization. Emissions of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrous oxide, and methane, are responsible for the rising global temperature, which has increased by around 1° C since the last century. The US, European Union, Russia, and China collectively account for 65% of the global emissions. Among these, the US alone accounts for 25%. The following chart describes the share of sectors responsible for greenhouse gas emissions in the US. Sulfur levels in fuel have a direct and indirect impact on greenhouse gas emissions. Sulfur impedes the efficient functioning of certain types of catalysts, which, in turn, translates into higher methane emissions from oxidation catalysts and higher carbon dioxide emissions from more advanced technologies. Sulfur also prevents the growth activity of emission control technologies in several domains, such as fuel-efficient gasoline engine designs, traditional diesel as a fuel-efficient alternative, and advanced or hybrid diesel.
Some of the prominent key players are Linde (Germany),Air Liquide (France),Air Products & Chemicals (US),Uniper (Germany), Engie (France),Fuel Cell Energy (US),Messer Group (Germany),Showa Denko (Japan),Taiyo Nippon (Japan),Xebec (Canada),Uniper (Germany),McPhy Energy (France),Enapter (Germany),Starfire Energy (US),Claind (Italy), Plug Power (US)
Opportunities: Development of green hydrogen production technologies
Various technologies are used presently to produce hydrogen, including steam methane reforming, partial oxidation of oil, coal gasification, and water electrolysis. Most of the hydrogen produced today is used in petroleum refineries and the manufacturing of fertilizers. Ninety-nine percent of it comes from fossil fuel reforming, as it has been the most economical method. However, this does not have any real climate benefits as CO2 is emitted in the process. Electrolysis of water produces green hydrogen from renewable. energy resources, such as onshore and offshore wind and solar power. Green hydrogen has numerous applications, ranging from industrial feedstock to fuel cell vehicles and energy storage. The concept of green hydrogen is still in its early phase, and many organizations are investing in setting up new green hydrogen production plants that would help in reducing GHG emissions. In 2019, Dutch paints and chemicals maker Akzo Nobel and gas network operator Gasunie announced a plan to build Europe’s largest green hydrogen production plant.
Challenges: Lack of well-established infrastructure for electric cars
Hydrogen-powered cars are more popular in countries such as South Korea and Japan. The governments of these countries offer subsidies for these vehicles. In addition, they also provide finance for building the necessary infrastructure. In the US, incentives are offered by the California State for the use of fuel cell-powered vehicles. Although hydrogen-powered cars may be a sustainable technology in the modern world, experts believe hydrogen needs to be developed from a natural gas source, which requires the use of fossil fuels. On the other hand, electric cars rely on battery power and hence are greener than hydrogen cars. Efforts are being made to use hydrogen produced from renewable sources. Also, the infrastructure necessary for refueling the tanks is inadequate, which can act as a challenge for the market’s systems.