Growing hydrogen demand.
As the world continues to grapple with the energy crisis and the need for clean energy solutions, hydrogen has emerged as a promising alternative that could play a critical role in the transition towards sustainable energy. According to recent statistics, hydrogen demand has been on the rise, reaching 94 million tonnes in 2021, surpassing pre-pandemic levels. The increase in demand has been driven the replacement of traditional fossil fuels in refining and industry, as well as new applications, which have grown by 60% since 2020.
The global energy crisis: an additional stimulus for hydrogen?
The global energy crisis has further highlighted the need for clean hydrogen, which could help decrease dependency on fossil fuels, either by replacing fossil fuels in end-use applications or by shifting fossil-based hydrogen production to renewable hydrogen. In addition, the development of an international hydrogen market can enhance energy security for energy importing countries by adding to the diversity of potential energy suppliers.
Governments' efforts to meet their climate pledges could also provide an additional impetus for hydrogen deployment. If ambitious policies are implemented, hydrogen could help avoid 14 bcm/yr of natural gas use, 20 Mtce/yr of coal and 360 kbd of oil use by 2030.
But Actual deployment is lagging.
Despite the potential of hydrogen, actual deployment is lagging. Meeting the growing demand for hydrogen would require significant low-emission hydrogen production, with a path compatible with reaching net-zero emissions by 2050 globally requiring around 100 Mt by 2030. While a significant portion of hydrogen projects are currently at advanced planning stages, only a few (4%) are under construction or have reached final investment decision (FID).
The lack of progress is mainly attributed to uncertainties about demand, lack of regulatory frameworks, and the non-availability of infrastructure to deliver hydrogen to end-users. However, with increased investment and support from governments and businesses, hydrogen deployment could accelerate, providing a critical pathway towards a cleaner and sustainable future.
In conclusion, hydrogen presents a promising alternative to fossil fuels and can play a significant role in achieving global climate goals. However, actual deployment must be prioritised to meet growing demand and address the challenges currently hindering the adoption of this critical energy source. With concerted efforts, governments, businesses, and stakeholders can accelerate the transition towards a cleaner and sustainable energy future.
Executive summary – Global Hydrogen Review 2022 – Analysis - IEA. (n.d.). IEA. https://www.iea.org/reports/global-hydrogen-review-2022/executive-summary
Sparkedadmin. (2022). Hydrogen Insights 2022. Hydrogen Council. https://hydrogencouncil.com/en/hydrogen-insights-2022/