According to a new report from Navigant Research, worldwide revenue from hydrogen consumption for new and emerging markets will grow from $1.3 billion annually in 2013 to $49.8 billion in 2030. Demand segments include hydrogen as a fuel for fuel cells, in both transport and stationary applications (the power-to-transport and power-to-power vectors, respectively) and for energy storage (the power-to-gas vector).
One of the largest markets for non-chemical or refinery hydrogen, according to the report, will be fuel cell transportation, especially light-duty fuel cell vehicles. Demand for hydrogen closely tracks the deployment of the vehicles, which is tied to automakers’ commercialization and roll-out plans. At this early stage of market development, changes to these plans represent one of the highest sensitivities in the overall hydrogen market.
Navigant projects that hydrogen consumption will be led by the Asia Pacific and Middle East & Africa regions. The regional distribution of hydrogen demand is very much linked to regional distribution of sector growth. China and a number of African countries are already pushing for fuel cell adoption in their telecommunications networks, a percentage of which run off hydrogen. The leading position of the Asia Pacific and Middle East & Africa regions in terms of hydrogen consumption will thus be exacerbated by 2030. Moreover, additional hydrogen demand from the transport sector will cause Asia Pacific to require the most direct hydrogen of all the regions by 2030.
Increased energy demand, government-mandated renewable energy requirements, growth in the cleantech backup power market, and deployment of a growing number of fuel cell-powered vehicles in the transport sector are all driving overall demand for hydrogen. At the same time, the increasing availability of distributed electrolysis, low off-peak electricity prices, and cheap natural gas are improving the economics of the hydrogen market.—Kerry-Ann Adamson, research director with Navigant Research