Hydrogen future and the mobility transformation
Dr. Evangelo Damigos; PhD | Head of Digital Futures Research Desk
- Competitive Differentiation
Publication | Update: May 2022
Hydrogen demand stood at 90 Mt in 2020, practically all for refining and industrial applications and produced almost exclusively from fossil fuels, resulting in close to 900 Mt of CO2 emissions. But there are encouraging signs of progress. Global capacity of electrolyzer, which are needed to produce hydrogen from electricity, doubled over the last five years to reach just over 300 MW by mid-2021. Europe is leading electrolyzer capacity deployment, with 40% of
global installed capacity, and is set to remain the largest market in the near term on the back of the ambitious hydrogen strategies of the European Union and the United Kingdom.
Hydrogen is a very versatile fuel that can be produced using all types of energy sources (coal, oil, natural gas, biomass, renewables and nuclear) through a very wide variety of technologies (reforming, gasification, electrolysis, pyrolysis, water splitting and many others).
In terms of demand, global hydrogen demand was around 90 Mt H2 in 2020, having grown 50% since the turn of the millennium. Almost all this demand comes from refining and industrial uses. Annually, refineries consume close to 40 Mt H2 as feedstock and reagents or as a source of energy. The adoption of hydrogen for new applications has been slow, with uptake limited to the last decade, when fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) deployment started and pilot projects began to inject hydrogen into gas grids and use it for electricity generation.
The pathway to net zero emissions by 2050 requires substantially wider hydrogen use in existing applications (e.g. the chemical industry) and a significant uptake of hydrogen and hydrogen-based fuels for new uses in heavy industry, heavy-duty road transport, shipping and aviation. Increasing the use of hydrogen as a new energy vector is a long-term endeavor, as it can take decades for a new fuel to significantly penetrate the energy mix. Immediate action is therefore required to facilitate the scaling-up process and create the conditions needed by 2030 to ensure that hydrogen technologies can be widely diffused to secure their long-term usefulness in the clean energy transition.
Hydrogen can be used in many more applications than those common today. Although this still accounts for a small share of total hydrogen demand, recent progress to expand its reach has been strong, particularly in transport. The cost of automotive fuel cells has fallen by 70% since 2008 thanks to technological progress and growing sales of fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs). Thanks to the efforts by Korea, the Unites States, China and Japan, the number of FCEVs on the road grew more than six-fold from 7 000 in 2017 to over 43 000 by mid-2021. In 2017, practically all FCEVs were passenger cars. Today, one-fifth are buses and trucks, indicating a shift to the long-distance segment where hydrogen can better compete with electric vehicles. However, the total number of FCEVs is still well below the estimated 11 million electric vehicles on the road today. Strong hydrogen demand growth and the adoption of cleaner technologies for its production thus enable hydrogen and hydrogen-based fuels to avoid up to 60 Gt CO2 emissions in 2021-2050 in the Net zero Emissions Scenario, representing 6.5% of total cumulative emissions reductions.
China launched a new FCEV pilot cities programme in 2020 to enlarge FCEV industry supply chains. In contrast with vehicle purchase subsidies, the scheme rewards clusters of cities based on a series of parameters. To be eligible for financial rewards, city clusters must deploy more than 1 000 FCEVs that meet certain technical standards; achieve a delivered hydrogen price at a maximum of CNY 35.00/kg.
International hydrogen trade could become a cornerstone of the clean energy transition, enabling the export of low-carbon hydrogen from regions with abundant access to renewable energy or low-cost production of hydrogen from fossil fuels with CCUS. To facilitate trade, however, relevant standardization bodies will need to develop international standards – based on a common definition of low carbon hydrogen – to remove and/or reduce regulatory barriers.
Objectives and Study Scope
This study has assimilated knowledge and insight from business and subject-matter experts, and from a broad spectrum of market initiatives. Building on this research, the objectives of this market research report is to provide actionable intelligence on opportunities alongside the market size of various segments, as well as fact-based information on key factors influencing the market- growth drivers, industry-specific challenges and other critical issues in terms of detailed analysis and impact.
The report in its entirety provides a comprehensive overview of the current global condition, as well as notable opportunities and challenges.
The analysis reflects market size, latest trends, growth drivers, threats, opportunities, as well as key market segments. The study addresses market dynamics in several geographic segments along with market analysis for the current market environment and future scenario over the forecast period.
The report also segments the market into various categories based on the product, end user, application, type, and region.
The report also studies various growth drivers and restraints impacting the market, plus a comprehensive market and vendor landscape in addition to a SWOT analysis of the key players. This analysis also examines the competitive landscape within each market. Market factors are assessed by examining barriers to entry and market opportunities. Strategies adopted by key players including recent developments, new product launches, merger and acquisitions, and other insightful updates are provided.
Research Process & Methodology
We leverage extensive primary research, our contact database, knowledge of companies and industry relationships, patent and academic journal searches, and Institutes and University associate links to frame a strong visibility in the markets and technologies we cover.
We draw on available data sources and methods to profile developments. We use computerised data mining methods and analytical techniques, including cluster and regression modelling, to identify patterns from publicly available online information on enterprise web sites.
Historical, qualitative and quantitative information is obtained principally from confidential and proprietary sources, professional network, annual reports, investor relationship presentations, and expert interviews, about key factors, such as recent trends in industry performance and identify factors underlying those trends - drivers, restraints, opportunities, and challenges influencing the growth of the market, for both, the supply and demand sides.
In addition to our own desk research, various secondary sources, such as Hoovers, Dun & Bradstreet, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Statista, are referred to identify key players in the industry, supply chain and market size, percentage shares, splits, and breakdowns into segments and subsegments with respect to individual growth trends, prospects, and contribution to the total market.
Research Portfolio Sources:
Global Business Reviews, Research Papers, Commentary & Strategy Reports
M&A and Risk Management | Regulation
The future outlook “forecast” is based on a set of statistical methods such as regression analysis, industry specific drivers as well as analyst evaluations, as well as analysis of the trends that influence economic outcomes and business decision making.
The Global Economic Model is covering the political environment, the macroeconomic environment, market opportunities, policy towards free enterprise and competition, policy towards foreign investment, foreign trade and exchange controls, taxes, financing, the labour market and infrastructure. We aim update our market forecast to include the latest market developments and trends.
Review of independent forecasts for the main macroeconomic variables by the following organizations provide a holistic overview of the range of alternative opinions:
As a result, the reported forecasts derive from different forecasters and may not represent the view of any one forecaster over the whole of the forecast period. These projections provide an indication of what is, in our view most likely to happen, not what it will definitely happen.
Short- and medium-term forecasts are based on a “demand-side” forecasting framework, under the assumption that supply adjusts to meet demand either directly through changes in output or through the depletion of inventories.
Long-term projections rely on a supply-side framework, in which output is determined by the availability of labour and capital equipment and the growth in productivity.
Long-term growth prospects, are impacted by factors including the workforce capabilities, the openness of the economy to trade, the legal framework, fiscal policy, the degree of government regulation.
Direct contribution to GDP
The method for calculating the direct contribution of an industry to GDP, is to measure its ‘gross value added’ (GVA); that is, to calculate the difference between the industry’s total pretax revenue and its total boughtin costs (costs excluding wages and salaries).
Forecasts of GDP growth: GDP = CN+IN+GS+NEX
GDP growth estimates take into account:
All relevant markets are quantified utilizing revenue figures for the forecast period. The Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) within each segment is used to measure growth and to extrapolate data when figures are not publicly available.
Our market segments reflect major categories and subcategories of the global market, followed by an analysis of statistical data covering national spending and international trade relations and patterns. Market values reflect revenues paid by the final customer / end user to vendors and service providers either directly or through distribution channels, excluding VAT. Local currencies are converted to USD using the yearly average exchange rates of local currencies to the USD for the respective year as provided by the IMF World Economic Outlook Database.
Industry Life Cycle Market Phase
Market phase is determined using factors in the Industry Life Cycle model. The adapted market phase definitions are as follows:
The Global Economic Model
The Global Economic Model brings together macroeconomic and sectoral forecasts for quantifying the key relationships.
The model is a hybrid statistical model that uses macroeconomic variables and inter-industry linkages to forecast sectoral output. The model is used to forecast not just output, but prices, wages, employment and investment. The principal variables driving the industry model are the components of final demand, which directly or indirectly determine the demand facing each industry. However, other macroeconomic assumptions — in particular exchange rates, as well as world commodity prices — also enter into the equation, as well as other industry specific factors that have been or are expected to impact.
Forecasts of GDP growth per capita based on these factors can then be combined with demographic projections to give forecasts for overall GDP growth.
Wherever possible, publicly available data from ofﬁcial sources are used for the latest available year. Qualitative indicators are normalised (on the basis of: Normalised x = (x - Min(x)) / (Max(x) - Min(x)) where Min(x) and Max(x) are, the lowest and highest values for any given indicator respectively) and then aggregated across categories to enable an overall comparison. The normalised value is then transformed into a positive number on a scale of 0 to 100. The weighting assigned to each indicator can be changed to reﬂect different assumptions about their relative importance.
The principal explanatory variable in each industry’s output equation is the Total Demand variable, encompassing exogenous macroeconomic assumptions, consumer spending and investment, and intermediate demand for goods and services by sectors of the economy for use as inputs in the production of their own goods and services.
Elasticity measures the response of one economic variable to a change in another economic variable, whether the good or service is demanded as an input into a final product or whether it is the final product, and provides insight into the proportional impact of different economic actions and policy decisions.
Demand elasticities measure the change in the quantity demanded of a particular good or service as a result of changes to other economic variables, such as its own price, the price of competing or complementary goods and services, income levels, taxes.
Demand elasticities can be influenced by several factors. Each of these factors, along with the specific characteristics of the product, will interact to determine its overall responsiveness of demand to changes in prices and incomes.
The individual characteristics of a good or service will have an impact, but there are also a number of general factors that will typically affect the sensitivity of demand, such as the availability of substitutes, whereby the elasticity is typically higher the greater the number of available substitutes, as consumers can easily switch between different products.
The degree of necessity. Luxury products and habit forming ones, typically have a higher elasticity.
Proportion of the budget consumed by the item. Products that consume a large portion of the consumer’s budget tend to have greater elasticity.
Elasticities tend to be greater over the long run because consumers have more time to adjust their behaviour.
Finally, if the product or service is an input into a final product then the price elasticity will depend on the price elasticity of the final product, its cost share in the production costs, and the availability of substitutes for that good or service.
Prices are also forecast using an input-output framework. Input costs have two components; labour costs are driven by wages, while intermediate costs are computed as an input-output weighted aggregate of input sectors’ prices. Employment is a function of output and real sectoral wages, that are forecast as a function of whole economy growth in wages. Investment is forecast as a function of output and aggregate level business investment.