Hydrogen Insights 2023 December Update

Hydrogen Insights 2023 December Update is the latest update on the global hydrogen economy from the Hydrogen Council and McKinsey & Company. It summarizes the current state of the global hydrogen sector and actual hydrogen deployment, with a deep dive into renewable hydrogen cost evolution.

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Hydrogen Certification 101

Hydrogen Certification 101 was developed under the Breakthrough Agenda’s Hydrogen Breakthrough priority action H.1 “standards and certification”, coordinated by IPHE and IEA H2 TCP, with support from IRENA and contributions from the Hydrogen Council and the International Power-to-X Hub.

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Hydrogen Insights 2023

Hydrogen Insights 2023 is the latest update on the global hydrogen economy from the Hydrogen Council and McKinsey & Company. It summarizes the current state of the global hydrogen sector and actual hydrogen deployment, with a deep dive into North America.

Continue reading

Columbia Energy Exchange: Unlocking Hydrogen’s Potential

Columbia Energy Exchange: Unlocking Hydrogen’s Potential

January 12, 2023

Clean electrons are vital to the net-zero economy. What about molecules?

There is a global race to expand hydrogen production for industry and heavy transportation – using wind, solar and biomass as a feedstock. 

North American countries are taking hydrogen innovation seriously, passing policy to spur innovation. The United States’ Inflation Reduction Act and Canada’s Fall Economic Statement both offer production tax credits for clean hydrogen. 

China is the global leader in production. But the country primarily uses coal as a feedstock. To make it clean, they’ll need to invest heavily in renewables and carbon capture technology.

With so much attention now on the industry, will it finally live up to the hype? How have recent developments in geopolitics and policy changed the outlook for the hydrogen industry? And what sectors will it help decarbonize? 

Our Executive Director Daryl Wilson talks with Bill Loveless, host on the Columbia Energy Exchange and Director of Columbia’s Center on Global Energy Policy’s Energy Journalism Initiative.

Click here to listen to the podcast.

Related Intelligence

Hydrogen certification: Addressing puzzle problems

How can certificates help the hydrogen market develop? Why is a global hydrogen standard important to underpin production methods? These are the exact topics Daria Nochevnik, Hydrogen Council Director Policy and Partnerships, spoke to ICIS about as a guest on ICIS’ recent Hydrogen Insights Podcast.

Click here to listen to the podcast on ICIS’ website.

Sufficiency, Sustainability, and Circularity of Critical Materials for Clean Hydrogen

Our estimates suggest that hydrogen needs to grow seven-fold to support the global energy transition, eventually accounting for 10 percent of total energy consumption by 2050. A scale up of this magnitude will increase demand for materials, such as aluminum, copper, iridium, nickel, platinum, vanadium and zinc, to support hydrogen technologies – renewable electricity technologies and the electrolyzers for renewable hydrogen, carbon storage for low-carbon hydrogen, or fuel cells using hydrogen to power transport.

An analysis of the impact of this material intensity is vital to deploying hydrogen sustainably, at scale. First, it can help identify bottlenecks in the supply of a critical material that could create challenges for the entire hydrogen sector or a specific technological component. Second, it highlights the need to consider the wider environmental challenges—impacts on greenhouse gas emissions or stresses to water supply—that may arise from mining and processing the materials. And last, while the material footprint of the hydrogen economy is low, it’s worth assessing whether materials needed for hydrogen may be competing with large-scale demand from other – and fast-growing – sectors of the low-carbon transition, such as wind, solar, and battery technologies.

This report, a joint product of the World Bank and the Hydrogen Council, examines these three critical areas. Using new data on the material intensities of key technologies, the report estimates the amount of critical minerals needed to scale clean hydrogen. In addition, it shows how incorporating sustainable practices and policies for mining and processing materials can help minimize environmental impacts. Key among these approaches is the use of recycled materials, innovations in design in order to reduce material intensities, and adoption of policies from the Climate-Smart Mining (CSM) Framework to reduce impacts to greenhouse gas emissions and water footprint.

This research should be seen as the starting point of analysis in this area, with a need to increase the scope and depth to give a more complete picture of the material impacts of hydrogen along its value chain, including crucial aspects such as transportation, storage, and distribution.

Ultimately, governments and the private sector need to be proactive and work together to ensure that the supply of key materials across the energy transition can be successfully deployed without impeding the global supply of clean hydrogen, and that these materials can be supplied with the lowest environmental and social footprint possible.

View and download the full report here.
Read the press release here.

Global Hydrogen Flows

Authored by the Hydrogen Council in collaboration with McKinsey and Company, Global Hydrogen Flows addresses the midstream challenge of aligning and optimizing global supply and demand. It finds that trade can reduce overall system costs.

In doing so, it provides a perspective on how the global trade of hydrogen and derivatives, including hydrogen carriers, ammonia, methanol, synthetic kerosene, and green steel (which uses hydrogen in its production), can develop as well as the investments needed to unlock the full potential of global hydrogen and derivatives trade.

Our hope is that this report offers stakeholders – suppliers, buyers, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), investors, and governments – a thorough and quantitative perspective that will help them make the decisions required to accelerate the uptake of hydrogen.

Key messages from the report:

  • Hydrogen and its derivatives will become heavily traded: 400 out of the 660 million tons (MT) of hydrogen needed for carbon neutrality by 2050 will be transported over long distances, with 190 MT crossing international borders.
  • In a cost-optimal world, around 50% of trade uses pipelines, while synthetic fuels, ammonia and sponge iron, transported on ships, account for approximately 45%. Europe and countries in the Far East will rely on imports, while North America and China are mostly self-reliant.
  • Trade has huge benefits: It can lower the cost of hydrogen supply by 25%, or as much as US$6 trillion of investments from now until 2050. This will accelerate the hydrogen transition, which can abate 80 gigatons of CO2 until 2050.

View and download the full report here.
Read the press release here.