Sustainability at the Heart of Industrial Transition

The transformation in the industry space in recent times has seen a paradigm shift in that it is led by technology guided by sustainability and environment, social and governance values. Author Pranjal Sharma in his latest book notes that ensuring that humans work in a mutually beneficial manner while minimising the impact on earth is a key feature of the fifth industrial revolution 

Published 10 months ago on Jun 01, 2023 5 minutes Read
The Next New: Navigating The Fifth Industrial Revolution | Author: Pranjal Sharma | Publisher: Harpercollins | Pages: 268 | Price: Rs 699

Green hydrogen is among the cleanest fuels available in the market and has vast potential to decarbonize the existing energy system. It is a viable option and is best served by long-term investments by governments.

According to MarketsandMarkets estimates, the global green hydrogen market is projected to reach 1,723 kT by 2026, at a CAGR of 75 per cent while the market size for green hydrogen is expected to reach US$4.4 billion by 2026. This growth is attributed to the rising demand for green hydrogen from mobility, chemical, power generation, grid injection, industrials and other industries (CHP + domestic heat). Even globally, the market is expected to continue its growth with increasing opportunities from the automobile, transportation and industrial sectors. Increasing government support through favourable fiscal policies for green hydrogen, especially in the European countries, is further pushing the green hydrogen market, chiefly in the mobility end-use segment. Currently, the major countries for import−export are China, the US, Germany, the UK, France, and Japan, among others.

China is a growing market for green hydrogen. Along with production, it is also targeting nearly one million fuel cell-based vehicles by 2030. While China has massive potential for renewable energy, it aims to gain dominance in the hydrogen market too. The country is investing in a holistic hydrogen value chain to develop its sustainably.

The green hydrogen market has been largely dominated by alkaline electrolysis technology, which accounted for a 61.7 per cent share of the overall market, in terms of value, in 2020. This dominance is attributed to its key advantages over other manufacturing technologies. In comparison to polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) electrolysis, alkaline electrolysis tends to produce highly pure green hydrogen. Considering these hydrogen ions do not diffuse easily into an electrolyte solution, they are highly preferred.

However, the market size for PEM electrolysis technology is also projected to reach US$1.9 billion by 2026, registering a promising CAGR of 61.5 per cent between 2021 and 2026. And, the global automotive fuel cell market is expected to account for a sale of 5,95,255 units in 2028, growing at a CAGR of 62.2 per cent during the forecast period. Europe is the major market for both alkaline electrolysis and PEM electrolysis technologies in the green hydrogen market.

From a usage standpoint, mobility is the largest end-use industry of the green hydrogen market and the fastest growing sector at a CAGR of 61.3 per cent between 2021 and 2026. The increasing use of green hydrogen in fuel cell EVs is among the major reasons for market growth. Green hydrogen in the fuel cells of vehicles is a rapidly developing market as it offers the convenience of fossil fuels without the entailed emissions.

Power is expected to be the second fastest growing industry, showing nearly 60 per cent CAGR between 2021 and 2026 in terms of value. The high demand for green hydrogen also comes from the steel and chemical industries for decarburization.

Green hydrogen has developed multiple applications compared to its general image of fuel cells in electric cars. It is now used to make alternative fuels, also known as energy carriers, such as ammonia, methanol and synthetic liquids. These energy carriers show the potential to grow future demand and acceptance in countries among leadership and industries that plan to have a low-carbon future. It can prove to be a no-carbon fuel for marine transportation and also a backup power in industries. This wide range of applications makes the venture of green hydrogen lucrative and shows potential to grow in the times to come.

Produced from green hydrogen using renewable sources of energy, green ammonia is the cleaner version of ammonia gas. Hydrogen and green ammonia are likely to become the future fuel for the transportation and maritime industries as they are under immense pressure to cut down their emission level. This, along with the fast-expanding hydrogen-based economy, is bringing immense opportunities in the green ammonia market. The shipping industry accounts for 3 per cent of the global greenhouse emissions. This is mainly due to the high consumption of diesel and high-sulphur fuel by ships. The maritime industry is obliged to cut down its emission by using cleaner fuels and, hence, is undergoing major transformations. Ammonia is the highest carrier of hydrogen, which is high energy density and can provide energy to ships and reduce the emissions simultaneously.

The fertilizer industry is another major consumer of green ammonia. Of the overall ammonia produced, approximately 90 per cent is consumed by the fertilizer sector. With manufacturers now focusing on reducing their dependence on fossil fuels, the emergence of advanced electrolysis technologies for enhancing the fertilizer production process and ensuring energy efficiency is gaining momentum and subsequently expanding the green ammonia market.


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