Countries around the world are under increasing pressure to decarbonise their economies. There is growing interest in the production and use of hydrogen as a potential scalable and versatile mechanism for achieving this aim. If the global demand for hydrogen increases as a consequence, then it is likely that a global market in hydrogen will emerge to satisfy that demand.
Overview of the emerging global hydrogen market
- Current global hydrogen production, which is typically not produced through low emissions methods, is relatively stable at around 55 million tonnes (6,600 PJ) per year.
- Currently, non-energy uses of hydrogen dominate consumption, with production of ammonia accounting for around half of hydrogen demand. Use of hydrogen for energy purposes is estimated to be between 1 and 2 per cent of total consumption.
- This report focusses on the potential demand for low emissions hydrogen for energy use. There may also be demand for low emissions hydrogen to replace existing hydrogen use in industrial uses.3 4 For example, as a chemical feedstock to produce ‘green’ commodities such as ammonia, methanol and other chemicals or as a reductant in steel making. However, the latter use is unlikely to see widespread adoption within the timeframe examined in this report.