Pike Research forecasts more than 5,200 hydrogen fueling stations to be operational worldwide by 2020
|Hydrogen demand from LDVs, buses, forklifts, UPS, and scooters, worldwide 2010-2020. Source: Pike. Click to enlarge.|
According to a new report from Pike Research, more than 5,200 hydrogen fueling stations for cars, buses and forklifts will be operational worldwide by 2020, up from just 200 stations in 2010. The cleantech market intelligence firm forecasts that, by the end of that period, annual investment in hydrogen stations will reach $1.6 billion, with a cumulative 10-year investment totaling $8.4 billion.
Pike Research expects global demand for hydrogen fuel to reach 418 million kg annually by 2020. This reflects a 2010-2020 CAGR of 88% globally. Cumulative demand will be relatively low—less than 50 million kg—from 2010 through 2014. In 2015, demand will reach around 55 million kg and will grow dramatically from that point. Such growth will be caused by the projected introduction of commercial LDVs in 2015.
LDVs are one of the big drivers of hydrogen fuel demand in the late part of the forecast period, according to Pike. The increased utilization of hydrogen as a fuel will drive annual demand from approximately 775,000 kilograms (kg) in 2010 to 418 million kg by 2020.
There is no one clear business model for the hydrogen infrastructure market at present. Currently, the major players in hydrogen fueling are large multinationals: the industrial gas companies, and the energy and gas companies, both those that operate retail gas stations and those that provide fuels for the grid. These companies tend to favor large-scale hydrogen infrastructure options.—Pike senior analyst Lisa Jerram
Jerram adds that some smaller “independent” hydrogen suppliers that are developing and marketing smaller onsite hydrogen generator technologies could offer a more modular path to hydrogen infrastructure buildout. Yet another pathway is presented by vehicles using very small quantities of hydrogen, such as scooters. These vehicles can be fueled by small solid state hydrogen cartridges, which are readily distributed in retail outlets.
Pike Research’s analysis indicates that forklifts will be the largest driver of hydrogen fuel demand by 2020, representing 36% of the total market by that time. The other large application categories include light duty vehicles, which will consume 33% of total hydrogen, and uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) for stationary power, which will represent 27% of the total. Fuel cell buses and scooters will each be a relatively small percentage of total hydrogen demand.