1Q 2019

Emerging Cross-Sector Opportunities in the Hydrogen Economy

The hydrogen economy is seeing renewed interest and investment, driven by many factors. Policymakers are reacting to increasingly dire climate change warnings by supporting hydrogen as an emissions-cutting measure. Advancements in hydrogen production technologies such as electrolyzers and end-use technologies like fuel cells are improving the economics of hydrogen. As electric grids from China to Germany face growing renewables curtailment due to overproduction, some look to hydrogen power-to-gas (P2G) to capture economic value from the generation capacity that may otherwise become stranded.

The emerging hydrogen economy connects different sectors—such as electricity, transport, and industry—and growing activity across the energy value chain mirrors this reach. Incumbent fossil players like oil & gas companies and natural gas utilities are interested, both to limit the jarring impacts of decarbonization policies and grow revenue from potentially cleaner fossil fuel end products. Electric utilities may look to P2G electrolyzers as potential large loads to prop up load growth against declining demand.

This Navigant Research report analyzes the developing hydrogen economy and interconnections helping drive its business case. The study examines three areas: markets where hydrogen can be disruptive; the hydrogen value chain and positions of more than 200 companies active in hydrogen; and more than 70 existing and planned P2G projects summarized by use case. The report closes with recommendations for several groups of hydrogen stakeholders. Industrial gas companies, transportation players, and electrolyzer and fuel cell companies are among the company types discussed in this report.

Pages 17
Tables | Charts | Figures 5
  • What new cross-sector opportunities exist in the emerging hydrogen economy?
  • What energy end uses may be disrupted by hydrogen?
  • What types of companies are becoming active in hydrogen, and why?
  • What are the use cases of power-to-gas (P2G) projects, and which will be more important in the future?
  • How should my company react to the hydrogen economy?
  • Electric utilities
  • Natural gas utilities
  • Oil & gas companies
  • Renewables developers
  • Fuel cell vendors
  • Electrolyzer vendors
  • Vehicle OEMs
  • Investor community

Spark

Context

Recommendations

Momentum Builds for the Hydrogen Economy as Hydrogen Use Cases Proliferate

Traditional Hydrogen Production Pathways Are Changing

Hydrogen Could Disrupt Many Large Industries

Green Hydrogen Primed to Compete on Cost

How Industry and Transport Can Use Green Hydrogen

Competing with Grey Hydrogen for Industrial End Uses

Pursuing Cost Parity with Gasoline

Displacing Bunker Fuel for Maritime Transportation

Green Hydrogen Could Disrupt Energy Trade and Heating

Replacing Electrical Transmission for Renewables

Displacing Natural Gas in Global Energy Trade and End Uses

Analyzing Green Hydrogen Opportunities

The Hydrogen Value Chain Is Expanding as Entrants Pile In

P2G Deployment Trends Signal Imminent Commercial Status, a Boon for Sector Interconnection

Hydrogen Use Cases Explained

Electric Use Cases Explained

Emerging P2G Developments Include a Clear Trend Toward Commercialization

Hydrogen Will Become an Increasingly Global Commodity

Utilities, Developers, and Other Stakeholders Should Seek Cross-Sector Partnerships and Opportunities

O&G Companies Should Employ Incumbency Advantages

Natural Gas Utilities Should Embrace Hydrogen as Defense Against Decarbonization Policy Impacts

Electric Utilities and Grid Operators Should Use Hydrogen for Grid Support and Load Growth

Renewables Developers and OEMs Should Embrace the Potential of P2G

Fuel Cell and Electrolyzer Vendors Need to Focus on Scale and Cost

Hydrogen Stakeholders Should Lobby for a Level Regulatory Playing Field

  • Cost of Energy and Market Size, Select Markets: 2018
  • Hydrogen Value Chain Segments and Players
  • Membership in Eight Major Hydrogen Associations by Segment
  • Cumulative P2G Use Cases, Operating and Announced Projects, World Markets: 2011-2020
  • Selected Renewable Hydrogen Export Schemes, Feasibility Study Status, or Operating Schemes: 2019
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