4Q 2021

Emerging Hydrogen End Uses

Hydrogen is expected to play a critical role in enabling the energy transition. Hydrogen is possibly one of the best options for large-scale decarbonization in segments such as transport, industry, and buildings, which is a key driver of hydrogen adoption. Hydrogen integration in the energy portfolio increases flexibility in energy supply-demand matching and facilitates sector-coupling. However, the extent of hydrogen integration is constrained by its alignment with customer preferences and conveniences. The cost of hydrogen production from low carbon energy sources is one such obstacle to hydrogen adoption.

To reduce these costs, several governments globally have proposed roadmaps, policies, and subsidies aimed at reducing the cost of producing low carbon hydrogen. In contrast, measures to increase demand have received limited attention. Unlocking sustained economies of scale for hydrogen requires a step change in its demand. Caution must prevail here, as being end-use agnostic may result in stranded assets.

This Guidehouse Insights report aims to demystify emerging end-use candidates that are expected to become mainstays in the future. These applications, coupled with government policy instruments, have the potential to unlock more projects and to support scaling the hydrogen economy.

Pages 24
Tables | Charts | Figures 1
  • How can governments support and guide the increased integration of hydrogen?
  • What is the state and prospect of hydrogen usage in industrial processes?
  • How is hydrogen being used in chemical feedstocks?
  • What is hydrogen’s role in on-road and off-road transportation?
  • Is hydrogen being used building and residential applications?
  • What are the prospects of hydrogen usage in key power system applications?
  • Electrolyzer manufacturers
  • Government agencies
  • Hydrogen nonprofits and research organizations
  • Renewable technology developers
  • Utilities
  • Energy cooperatives
  • On-road and off-road transportation companies
  • Investor community




Governments Have a Role to Play in Hydrogen Adoption

Commit to Targets and Long-Term Policy Signals

Extend Support Schemes to Create Hydrogen Demand

Plan to Mitigate Investment Risks for Hydrogen Assets

Support R&D and Innovation

Support International Standardization and Remove Regulatory Barriers

Hydrogen Adoption Increases Across Sectors

Industrial and Chemical Hydrogen Remains a Leading End Use

Hydrogen Use in Industrial Iron and Steel Increases

Hydrogen Can Be Used to Create Ammonia and Methanol for Chemical Feedstock

Hydrogen Use Is Shifting from Refining Oil to Creating Synfuels

Industrial Clusters Address Hydrogen Adoption Concerns

Synthetic Fermentation Using Hydrogen Helps Decarbonize Food Industries

Hydrogen Use in Transportation Increases

Fuel Cell Vehicles Face Slow Adoption Rates

Vintage Vehicles Offer an Opportunity for Hydrogen Use in Transportation

Fuel Cell Buses Become Prominent

FCV Use to Increase in Long-Haul Trucking

More Hydrogen Refueling Stations Are Needed to Support Hydrogen Vehicle Adoption

Material Handling, Mining, and Agricultural Vehicles Are Switching to Hydrogen Fuel Cells

Hydrogen Increases in Rail Transport Due to Decarbonization and Cost Concerns

Maritime Shipping Slowly Transitions to Hydrogen

Hydrogen Becomes Critical to Decarbonizing Aviation

Hydrogen Helps Decarbonize the Buildings and Residential Sectors

Stationary Fuel Cells Receive Government Support

Blending Hydrogen into Natural Gas Pipelines Decarbonizes Heating

Hydrogen Plays a Role in Decarbonizing the Power Sector

Scaling Hydrogen Demand Requires Stakeholder and Government Collaboration

Stakeholders Must Acknowledge the Value of Industrial Clusters in Scaling Hydrogen Demand

Regulators Must Stimulate Hydrogen Demand and Eliminate Barriers

Stakeholders Must Mitigate Hydrogen Investment Risks

Governments Must Establish Policies

Stakeholders Must Focus on Key Sectors for Hydrogen Integration

  • Types of Industrial Hydrogen Clusters
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