Hydrogen has the potential to be a useful energy source for many different sectors. Hydrogen is a clean, versatile solution that appeals to a wide range of industries. The following sectors require hydrogen:
Energy and Power Generation:
Hydrogen has a lot to offer the energy sector, especially power generation. The only result of using hydrogen as a fuel in hydrogen fuel cells is water vapor, which may be used to generate electricity. This could encourage the creation of cleaner energy and assist lower greenhouse gas emissions.
- By 2050, hydrogen could supply 18% of the world’s energy needs, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).
- According to the Hydrogen Council, investments in hydrogen-related projects might total $280 billion by 2030.
Hydrogen Future Growth in Energy and Power Generation Industry:
1. It is anticipated that hydrogen will be crucial to the power sector’s decarbonization. Hydrogen has the potential to serve as a means of storing surplus electricity and offering grid balancing functions as renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power gain popularity.
2. In the upcoming years, it is anticipated that the development of hydrogen-based power plants, such as hydrogen fuel cells and gas turbines, as well as the integration of hydrogen into already-existing power networks would accelerate.
3. The production of electricity using hydrogen can improve energy security, lessen dependency on fossil fuels, and help meet climate goals.
Hydrogen has applications in the transportation sector, ranging from cars and trucks to buses and trains and even ships on the ocean. With a greater driving range and quicker refueling periods than conventional batteries, hydrogen fuel cells can power electric cars. Hybrid fuels, like hydrogenated vegetable oil, which may be used in internal combustion engines, can also be made using hydrogen.
- By 2050, 400 million automobiles and 20 million trucks might run on hydrogen, according to the Global Hydrogen Council.
- The European Commission plans to have 1,000 hydrogen refueling stations and 6 million hydrogen-powered cars by 2024.
Hydrogen Future Growth in Transportation Industry:
1. The usage of hydrogen as a fuel is anticipated to increase significantly in the transportation sector. When compared to battery-electric vehicles, hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) have advantages including greater driving ranges and quicker refueling periods.
2. Governments and automakers are funding the construction of hydrogen infrastructure and encouraging the creation and use of FCEVs.
3. The transportation sector can benefit from the increase of hydrogen applications because to its versatility, as hydrogen can be employed in buses, trucks, trains, and maritime vessels.
The chemical industry needs hydrogen as a feedstock. Several processes, including the synthesis of methanol, ammonia, and other compounds, involve its usage. In order to make fertilizers, refine petroleum, and make plastics and polymers, hydrogen is an essential component.
- Over 70 million metric tons of chemicals are produced each year using hydrogen, according to the International Energy Agency.
- As per the Global Hydrogen Council, 10% of methanol and 70% of ammonia worldwide are produced using hydrogen.
Hydrogen Potential in Chemicals Industry:
1. Applications relating to hydrogen are expected to increase significantly in the chemical industry. It is anticipated that there would be a rise in the need for hydrogen as a feedstock for chemical processes such as the synthesis of methanol and ammonia.
2. The shift to hydrogen, a cleaner substitute, will be fueled by the need to cut greenhouse gas emissions in the chemical industry and the emphasis on sustainability.
3. As the chemical industry strives to become carbon neutral, green hydrogen—produced from renewable sources—is probably going to become more and more popular.
Hydrogen is necessary for a number of refining operations in the oil refining sector. Crude oil is treated with hydrogen to remove sulfur and impurities and to make lighter, more valuable products like diesel and gasoline from heavier crude oil.
- The Hydrogen Council calculates that 10% of the world’s oil refining process uses hydrogen, generating a market value of more than $20 billion annually.
- According to the International Energy Agency, hydrogen might contribute to an 80% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions from the refining of oil.
Hydrogen Potential Growth in Chemicals Industry:
1. In order to lessen its carbon impact, the oil refining sector is anticipated to progressively transition to hydrogen-based procedures.
2. The use of hydrogen in oil refining operations will be fueled by the desire to create cleaner fuels and stricter environmental laws.
3. The upgrading, processing, and sulfur content reduction of heavier crude oil will be greatly aided by hydrogen technologies such as hydrocracking and hydrogenation.
Steel and Metal Production:
Hydrogen presents a viable and environmentally friendly substitute for coal in the steel industry’s steelmaking process. Carbon dioxide emissions can be greatly decreased by switching to hydrogen in place of coal. In order to create high-purity iron for the manufacture of steel, iron ore can also be reduced directly with hydrogen.
- 6. million metric tons of hydrogen-powered low-carbon steel are to be produced by the European Commission by 2030.
- By 2030, the steel sector alone would need up to 1.7 million metric tons of hydrogen annually, according to the Hydrogen Council.
Hydrogen Future Growth in Steel and Metal Production Industry:
1. Direct reduction—a method of producing steel—is being aggressively investigated by the steel industry as a potential substitute for coal.
2. Carbon dioxide emissions may be greatly decreased and the sustainability of steel manufacturing can be improved by hydrogen-based direct reduction methods.
3. Climate targets, government incentives, and developments in hydrogen technology are projected to hasten the shift in the coming years towards hydrogen-based steel production.
Aerospace and Defense:
Hydrogen is being investigated by the aerospace and defense industries as a possible fuel for rockets and airplanes. For a variety of aerospace applications, hydrogen fuel cells can deliver effective and lightweight power, minimizing emissions and dependency on fossil fuels.
- The use of hydrogen fuel cells to power rockets and spacecraft has been investigated by NASA for a number of years.
- With plans to begin commercial flight by 2035, Airbus has developed hydrogen-powered aircraft ideas.
Hydrogen Growth Opportunities in Aerospace and Defense Industry:
1. Hydrogen-based technology research and development is being funded by the aerospace and defense industries for use in rocket and aircraft propulsion.
2. Because hydrogen fuel cells are lightweight and have a high energy efficiency, they are a popular choice for space and aviation applications.
3. The aerospace and defense industries are predicted to use hydrogen due to the increased emphasis on lowering emissions and the requirement for more environmentally friendly propulsion systems.
Energy Storage and Grid Balancing:
Hydrogen finds application in grid balancing and energy storage. By using electrolysis to create hydrogen from excess electricity produced by renewable sources, hydrogen can be stored for later use or converted back into electricity as necessary, which helps to stabilize the electrical grid.
- By 2050, hydrogen is expected to provide 3.6 exajoules of energy storage capacity, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IREA).
- By 2030, 40 gigawatts of electrolyzers are expected to be installed as part of the European Commission’s Hydrogen Strategy to produce hydrogen.
Hydrogen Growth Opportunities in Energy Storage and Grid Balancing Industry:
1. As renewable energy output increases, there is an increasing demand for energy storage options.
2. Hydrogen has the capacity to act as a large-scale energy storage medium, enabling the storage and release of excess renewable energy as needed.
3. The advancement of hydrogen storage infrastructure and sophisticated electrolysis technologies will support the future expansion of hydrogen in energy storage and grid balancing.
These are only a few sectors of the economy that hydrogen can help. The need for hydrogen is predicted to increase as the global economy continues to transition to a low-carbon one, and new sectors and uses might also develop.