This special interest group is for professionals to connect and discuss all types of carbon-free power alternatives, including nuclear, renewable, tidal and more.


Carbonomics | The Clean Hydrogen Revolution

image credit: Goldman Sachs
Charley Rattan's picture
World Hydrogen Leader , Charley Rattan Associates

UK based offshore wind & hydrogen corporate advisor and trainer; Faculty member World Hydrogen Leaders. Delivering global hydrogen and offshore wind corporate investment advice, business...

  • Member since 2019
  • 3,939 items added with 2,636,267 views
  • Feb 14, 2022

Access Publication

Clean hydrogen has emerged as a critical pillar to any aspiring global net zero path, aiding the de-carbonization of c.15% of global GHG emissions, we estimate, with TAM for hydrogen generation alone having the potential to double to c.US$250 bn by 2030 and reach >US$1 tn by 2050. We believe it is now time to revisit the clean hydrogen theme as policy, affordability and scalability seem to be converging to create unprecedented momentum for the clean hydrogen economy.

Policy support is strengthening globally, with >30 national hydrogen strategies and roadmaps pledging a >400-fold increase in clean hydrogen installed capacity this decade vs 2020 and supportive of a c.50-fold increase in the pace of annual average green hydrogen new builds. Scalability is already revolutionizing the green hydrogen projects pipeline, with scope for average project sizes to increase 100x+, from 2MW in 2020 to >200MW by 2025 and a GW scale by 2030, leading to cost deflation of 40% for electrolyzer systems by 2025E, similar to what has been observed for batteries over the past five years. Affordability is rapidly improving with green hydrogen likely to be at cost parity with grey in advantageous regions by 2025E (US$1.5/kg H2) and hydrogen cost parity with diesel in long-haul heavy road transport likely as early as 2027E.

We believe clean hydrogen can develop into a major global market, impacting geopolitical patterns in energy supply, and we examine the case for international trade, concluding that 30% of global hydrogen volumes have the potential to be involved in cross-border transport, higher than for natural gas. Regions such as MENA, LatAm, Australia and Iberia could emerge as key clean hydrogen exporters, while Central Europe, Japan, Korea and East China could emerge as key importers. With US$5.0 tn cumulative investments required in the clean hydrogen supply chain, on our estimates, we examine the hydrogen case for 11 industrial cconglomerates with growing exposure to the theme and also initiate coverage on three leading hydrogen pure-plays.



Charles Botsford, PE's picture
Charles Botsford, PE on Feb 16, 2022

Hi Charley,

Many studies project the future market for hydrogen to contract, rather than expand. The traditional markets for hydrogen (hydrocracking, hydrogenation, fertilizer) all seem to need less hydrogen by 2050, and with hydrogen not really suited for non-traditional markets, especially transport and power generation, I tend to believe those studies. You mention long-haul heavy-duty hydrogen transport at cost parity with diesel by 2027, but I bet HD EVs will be a better cost-effective and logistical solution than either. The logistics, for example, of installing hydrogen stations every couple hundred miles, and the high pressure pipelines to connect them, is surely more intimidating than installing HD EV charging stations every hundred miles or so on an interstate corridor, especially by 2027. And short-haul HD is no comparison at all. EVs already win.

I'm a chemical engineer, who has worked in a refinery on a hydrocracker. Hydrogen isn't all that much fun. The materials issues are hard and costly--the little bugger likes to escape containment. The logistics are difficult at best. For transport, hydrogen thermodynamics are just a tad better than diesel, which is to say terrible versus EVs.

Hydrogen-fueled power generation is another dubious idea, seemingly dreamt up by some of my engineering brethren in the oil business. I really like the idea of green hydrogen, but only where it makes economic sense. I'm also a big proponent of wind (especially floating wind), solar, and hydro in case you wonder about my bias.

Charley Rattan's picture
Thank Charley for the Post!
Energy Central contributors share their experience and insights for the benefit of other Members (like you). Please show them your appreciation by leaving a comment, 'liking' this post, or following this Member.
More posts from this member

Get Published - Build a Following

The Energy Central Power Industry Network® is based on one core idea - power industry professionals helping each other and advancing the industry by sharing and learning from each other.

If you have an experience or insight to share or have learned something from a conference or seminar, your peers and colleagues on Energy Central want to hear about it. It's also easy to share a link to an article you've liked or an industry resource that you think would be helpful.

                 Learn more about posting on Energy Central »