Hydrogen: Technology Trends

26 June 2020 (Last Updated June 26th, 2020 09:08)

Hydrogen: Technology Trends

Countries worldwide have accelerated the development and use of hydrogen technology to tackle environmental concerns and enhance energy security. Hydrogen technology has the capability to serve as a long-term, large-scale clean energy storage medium that aids power generation from renewable sources. However, formulating a cost-effective and well-regulated transition is complex issue, and the cost of producing hydrogen from renewable energy sources is currently expensive.

Listed below are the key technology trends in the hydrogen industry, as identified by GlobalData.

Hydrogen is versatile

Hydrogen can be produced from a broad variety of fuels such as renewables, nuclear, natural gas, coal and oil. The transportation of hydrogen as a gas occurs via pipelines and in liquid form via ships, similar to liquefied natural gas (LNG). Once hydrogen is transformed into electricity and methane, it can be used to power homes and feed industry, and turned into fuels for road transport, marine, railways and aviation sectors.

Electrolysers are scaling up

Electrolysers are advancing swiftly, scaling up from megawatt (MW) to gigawatt (GW), as hydrogen technology continues to evolve and progress. According to International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the cost of electrolysers is expected to decrease 50% by 2040-2050, from $840/kW today, while the cost of renewable electricity is also expected to fall. By 2030, IEA estimates that renewable hydrogen (green hydrogen) will become the cheapest option for clean hydrogen supply for numerous greenfield uses.

Hydrogen can facilitate increased contribution by renewables

Hydrogen has the ability to assist in variable power output from renewable energy sources such as solar PV and wind. The availability of these sources is not always commensurate with demand for power. Hydrogen serves as one of the leading alternatives for energy storage from renewables and seems to be favoured as a lowest-cost alternative for storing huge quantities of electricity over days, week and also months. The storage of hydrogen fuel can take place for long periods, and in quantities limited only by the size of storage facilities.

This is an edited extract from the Hydrogen – Thematic Research report produced by GlobalData Thematic Research.