German and European companies are leading: 23 percent of the projects in Germany planned, in Europe a total of 85 percent. Germany remains the most attractive market for investments in low-emission hydrogen, but there are also new, ambitious plans and strategies in Italy, Poland and Great Britain
The number of electrolysers for the production of hydrogen is growing rapidly: By 2040, companies around the world are planning systems with a total output of more than 210 gigawatts – 1000 times as much as are currently in operation. Germany is the front runner: Almost a quarter of the global projects are planned here, and the country also leads the ranking of the most attractive countries for hydrogen investments.
Italy commits the most public funds (EUR10bn), and sets perhaps the most ambitious final energy from hydrogen penetration goal (20% by 2050). Italy’s strategy also leverages its geography more aggressively than other European strategies published, positioning itself as a future Hydrogen distribution hub, importing from North Africa and leveraging it’s natural gas transmission network. New incentive schemes in Poland and the UK are expected to become available from 2022.
The size of the individual electrolyser projects is also growing rapidly, a sign that the technology and the supply chain are becoming more mature: today, most electrolysers have outputs of less than 10 megawatts (MW). As early as 2025, a typical system will have an output of 100 to 500 MW and generate hydrogen for directly connected consumers. By 2030, the plant sizes will increase to 1 GW and more, combined with large-scale projects that produce hydrogen for export in countries with cheap electricity.
The biannual Hydrogen Market Attractiveness Report from Aurora Energy Research rates European countries according to their attractiveness for investments in low-emission hydrogen: Based on criteria such as politics, incentive systems, production costs and likely centers of hydrogen demand, Germany retains the top position as the most attractive market for such projects. “However, other countries are now also presenting ambitious hydrogen plans and are catching up,”
The report notes a shift in the business cases between the earlier years consisting of local cluster projects in which hydrogen is consumed within couple of kilometres of the facility, whereas from early 2020s on, electrolysers are planned to be deployed in regions that benefit from cheap electricity, exporting the produced hydrogen to demand centres. A short version of the study can be found at https://ots.de/uIEAmB.