BMW Group to source lower CO2 aluminum from Rio Tinto in Canada from 2024
Interest in geologic hydrogen growing

GlobalData: Hydrogen market growth to surge in 2023 despite slowing global economy

Hydrogen development, given its application across various industries, is indispensable to attaining energy transition, meeting decarbonization goals, and positioning leading companies as market experts. In 2022, green hydrogen production capacity reached more than 109 kilotons per annum (ktpa) worldwide, representing 44% growth compared to 2021, according to data and analytics company GlobalData.

During 2022, over 393 deals related to hydrogen were closed, representing a significant increase compared to 277 deals registered in 2021. This shows an upward trend in the low-carbon hydrogen market development, which could be decisive in achieving over 111 million tons per annum (mtpa) capacity worldwide by 2030. However, the partnerships represented 66% of the deals last year, and the number of deals decreased after Q2 2022 to numbers even below those seen in the same quarter in 2021. This could have been due to the companies trying to strengthen their core business and diversify the investment risk given the global economic situation.

—Andres Angulo, Energy Analyst at GlobalData


Despite the high number of partnerships formed between companies as compared to government agencies, investing and raising capital were of the utmost importance to developing the hydrogen economy in 2022. Last year, mergers and acquisitions (M&A) deals reached $24.4 billion in monetary value, representing a 288% increase compared to 2021 levels. On the other hand, venture finance deal values also grew from $595.23 million to over $3,001.1 million.

In 2022, more than 111.9 mtpa low-carbon hydrogen capacity was announced in the US, Denmark, Egypt, Canada, Portugal, and other countries. In Canada, Green Hydrogen International (GHI) announced two important green hydrogen projects as a sole participant, with 43 mtpa capacity each, which are expected to begin production in 2030. Some other companies took part in multiple project investments globally to diversify their risk, including Fortescue Industries, which has two-thirds of its capacity outside its home country, Australia.


Companies such as GHI, Suez Canal Economic Zone, New and Renewable Energy Authority, Sovereign Fund of Egypt, and Egyptian Electricity Transmission Co are the global leaders in low-carbon hydrogen, with 56.3 mtpa active and upcoming capacity combined. As part of developing low-carbon hydrogen, and with electrolysis being a key technology to produce green, an electrolysis capacity of over 1,065 GW is now in pipeline. This is mainly being produced by manufacturing companies such as Hydrogenics, Nel ASA, ThyssenKrupp, ITM Power, HydrogenPro, Enapter and Plug Power.

During last year, companies such as Globeleq Africa, Linde, John Wood Group, ThyssenKrupp, H2-Industries, Alcazar energy, and Samsung Engineering took advantage of the growing demand for hydrogen capacity and became the Engineering, Procurement & Construction (EPC) leaders for green projects.

Despite the challenging global economic conditions, the number of investments in low-carbon hydrogen increased from 600 to over 1,700 between Q4 2021 and Q4 2022. As of January 2023, over 90% of pipeline hydrogen projects are green, as reflected by the increasing manufacturers’ electrolysis capacity and the number of EPC contractors participating in bigger green projects. This, in addition to the renewable energy development, will create a momentum that will accelerate the cost reduction across the entire hydrogen value chain.

—Andres Angulo



This is interesting since increasing amounts of research have recently been undertaken to assess 'natural reserves'. At USGS, researchers believe Earth 'produces' billions of tons internally - below the crust- but beyond this flow is the likelihood of accessible underground stock, even economically. Whether this may lead to jumps in fracking and its associated risks may impede investigation and access.


They invested more in electrolisis hydrogen than gold hydrogen. If we want hydrogen cars and trucks we must emphasise in gold hydrogen as it is cheaper and can unlock huge quantoties.


It would be interesting if they were able to mine or extract large amounts of H2 at substantially lower cost than electrolysis.
You just never know what is down there till you start looking....


Hi Jer:

We should know within the next year or two whether there are indeed vast resources of natural hydrogen.
If that proves to be the case, it is utterly transformative for energy supply:

' Hydroma and other companies have recently bought land rights and built mining operations. They are close to pumping commercial hydrogen from underground mines. If there are huge hydrogen resources that can be mined then it could change the economics of a potential hydrogen economy. Hydrogen is currently produced by using electrolysis to split water or other processes to separate hydrogen from methane. Producing hydrogen is usually quite costly and energy intensive. Mining hydrogen could be far cheaper and there could be a 1000 times more hydrogen available underground than we currently produce.

At USGS (US Geological Survey), Ellis, thinks the Earth produces orders of magnitude more hydrogen each year than the 90 million tons that humans manufacture. But it’s not only that flow that matters—it’s the size of the underground stock. They used a simple box model borrowed from the oil industry. The model accounted for impermeable rock traps of different kinds, the destructive effect of microbes, and the assumption—based on oil industry experience—that only 10% of hydrogen accumulations might ever be tapped economically. Ellis says the model comes up with a range of numbers centered around a trillion tons of hydrogen. That would satisfy world demand for thousands of years even if the green-energy transition triggers a surge in hydrogen use. Much of this global resource could end up being too scattered to be captured economically, like the millions of tons of gold that are dissolved in the oceans at parts per trillion levels.'


' The first target for natural hydrogen explorers should be shallow accumulations that sit under impermeable caps within a kilometer or two of the surface. If the source rocks themselves are within reach, hydrogen could be collected from them directly, like oil from fracked shale; water could even be injected into the iron-rich rock to stimulate production. While collecting hydrogen, the well could also tap the geothermal energy in the heated water that returns to the surface. If carbon dioxide were dissolved in the injected water, it could react with magnesium and calcium in the iron-containing rocks and be locked up permanently as limestone. This would also sequester carbon while extracting hydrogen.'

As for why if the resource indeed exists, we have not much come across it, although there has been a working mine for a decade in Mali in spite of oil and gas exploratory wells, the answer is basically because we have not been looking for it:

Since I am also optimistic about the chances of manganese hydride Kubas-1 low pressure storage which will cost a fraction of the price of batteries per KWh of storage, including in cars, there would seem to me to be a significant possibility that the future may look very different to the battery, wind farm etc future assumed by so many,.


As an aside, and an alternative to the other meme of unsuitably fast BEVs, how about using batteries or hydrogen for point to point air transport instead of faffing around in traffic?

I came across this analysis, which claims that on a per mile to destination basis, an electric eVTOL is more fuel economic than a car per person:

Interestingly, the coolest one, the Lillium, is the least energy efficient, due to its ducted fan design using gobs of power on lift off.

For really good range, hydrogen providing it can give you enough oomph for lift-off, is a long way ahead.

Over the next ten years true autopilot should obviate the need for pilot training, as in important respects being airborne is simpler than driving on the ground anyway.

Cheap ZEV hydrogen in vertical take off and landing flying car is a bit more revolutionary than leasing a Tesla! ;-)


When fossil fuels are used up, the future is in electricity and it derivatives; electricity, when produced in surplus, can either be thrown away or stored. We can store it in batteries or store it as surplus hydrogen. If we can store it as hydrogen, it would be at the ready for hydrogen aircraft usage, seaships or any other application that makes sense.
Yes, we still must develop the hydrogen applications; however, from my reading, it appears that there are forces hell-bent to provide just that.


Hi Lad

Hydrogen is produced continually underground, apparently at rates likely in excess of anything we are going to need.

So it does, it seems, renew, and is more akin to using wood than coal.

Some projected methods of production by pumping in water with CO2 in it, where the CO2 would be absorbed by rocks, would be the geoengineering solution we have been looking for to actually reduce the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere.


Hi Lad

I was noodling your comment a bit more, as we are all in a different landscape to that which we had assumed if natural hydrogen is a large exploitable resource.

I remember when I was young, many moons ago, the concern was running out, or running short of, commercially viable fossil fuels to sustain our civilisation, in line with Malthusian derived notions that as the cheapest, most readily available resources are exploited first, costs inevitably rise.

The fact that over 150 years or so the reverse had happened was largely assumed to be a temporary phenomena, due to be overwhelmed.

Hence books like Fred Hoyle's 'Energy or Extinction' which profoundly influenced my thinking as a counter to the 'Limits to Growth' meme, where the likes of Erlich even advocated not attempting to alleviate poverty as that would lead to more births, and invitable famine.

It has since been shown that knowing that your children are likely to survive means that people have far less of them, somewhere below replacement rate, whilst leaving people with high infant mortality results in more, not less, of them growing up and reproducing.

In another switch, concerns about running out of cheap fossil fuels has been replaced by a concern that there is so much of them available so cheaply, disruptions such as the Ukraine aside, that dealing with climate change and replacing them with renewables will be somewhere between difficult or impossible.

And the fuels in question were oil, gas and coal, all products of organic decomposition, if hardly ' dinosaur fossils'

They are primarily decomposed vegetation, but of course any organic matter.
That was and is being used at a far greater rate than it is being replaced, although there is plenty enough in store to parboil the planet.

But natural hydrogen appears not to be associated with decayed organic matter, and to be in no sense a fossil fuel, if I have understood what is being discovered.

And the rate it is created is far greater, it appears.

So it seems that refering to it as fossil fuel is entirely inaccurate, and deeply misleading.

Of course, I may have got this wrong.


The comments to this entry are closed.