As global leaders gathered at COP 23 in Bonn, 18 key leaders in their industry verticals, united in The Hydrogen Council coalition, came together on November 13 to launch first ever globally quantified vision of the role of hydrogen, developed with support from McKinsey.
In addition to being a key pillar in of the energy transition, the study shows that hydrogen has the potential to develop $2.5 trillion in business, creating more than 30 million jobs by 2050.
Taking the Hydrogen Council’s vision for hydrogen to the next level, the study entitled “Hydrogen, Scaling up” outlines a comprehensive and quantified roadmap to scale deployment and its enabling impact on the energy transition.
Deployed at scale, hydrogen could account for almost one-fifth of total final energy consumed by 2050. This would reduce annual CO2 emissions by roughly 6 gigatons compared to today’s levels, and contribute roughly 20 percent of the abatement required to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius.
On the demand side, the Hydrogen Council sees the potential for hydrogen to power about 10 to 15 million cars and 500,000 trucks by 2030, with many uses in other sectors as well, such as industry processes and feedstocks, building heating and power, power generation and storage. Overall, the study predicts that the annual demand for hydrogen could increase tenfold by 2050 to almost 80 EJ in 2050 meeting 18 percent of total final energy demand in the 2050 two-degree scenario. At a time when global populations are expected to grow by two billion people by 2050, hydrogen technologies have the potential to create opportunities for sustainable economic growth.
“The world in the 21st century must transition to widespread low carbon energy use,” said Takeshi Uchiyamada, chairman of Toyota Motor Corp. and co-chair of the Hydrogen Council.
“Hydrogen is an indispensable resource to achieve this transition because it can be used to store and transport wind, solar and other renewable electricity to power transportation and many other things. The Hydrogen Council has identified seven roles for hydrogen, which is why we are encouraging governments and investors to give it a prominent role in their energy plans. The sooner we get the hydrogen economy going, the better, and we are all committed to making this a reality,” he added.
Massive investments needed
Achieving such scale would require substantial investments; approximately $20 to $25 billion annually for a total of about $280 billion until 2030. Within the right regulatory framework – including long-term, stable coordination and incentive policies – the report considers that attracting these investments to scale the technology is feasible. The world already invests more than $1.7 trillion in energy each year, including $650 billion in oil and gas, $300 billion in renewable electricity, and more than $300 billion in the automotive industry.
“This study confirms the place of hydrogen as a central pillar in the energy transition, and encourages us in our support of its large-scale deployment. Hydrogen will be an unavoidable enabler for the energy transition in certain sectors and geographies. The sooner we make this happen the sooner we will be able to enjoy the needed benefits of Hydrogen at the service of our economies and our societies,” said Benoît Potier, chairman and chief executive officer, Air Liquide. “Solutions are technologically mature and industry players are committed. We need concerted stakeholder efforts to make this happen; leading this effort is the role of the Hydrogen Council.”
“When it comes to the future of mobility, zero emission technologies are an integral part of Daimler’s strategy. The benefits of the fuel cell are compelling: long range, short refuelling times and all that comes out of the “exhaust” is water. Moreover, the technology offers great opportunities for buses, other large commercial vehicles and not least stationary applications. With a steadily growing share of renewables, hydrogen will certainly play an increasingly important role in the overall energy system, making it increasingly attractive for the mobility sector as well,” said Jochen Hermann, vice president for Development CASE and e-Drive at Daimler AG.
The launch of the new roadmap came during the Sustainability Innovation Forum in the presence of 18 senior members of the Hydrogen led by co-chairs Uchiyamada and Potier, and accompanied by professor Aldo Belloni, CEO of The Linde Group, Woong-chul Yang, vice chairman of Hyundai Motor Company and Anne Stevens, board member of Anglo American. During the launch, the Hydrogen Council called upon investors, policymakers, and businesses to join them in accelerating deployment of hydrogen solutions for the energy transition. It was also announced that Woong-chul of Hyundai succeed Uchiyamada of Toyota in the rotating role of the Council’s co-chair and preside the group together with Potier in 2018.
Uchiyamada is planning to return as co-chairman in 2020, coinciding with the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, an important milestone for showcasing hydrogen society and mobility.
Launched only this year
Launched at the World Economic Forum in Davos in early 2017, the Hydrogen Council is a first-of-its-kind global CEO initiative to foster the role of hydrogen technologies in the global energy transition. Current members include 18 leading multinationals: Air Liquide, Alstom, Anglo American, Audi, BMW GROUP, Daimler, ENGIE, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai Motor, Iwatani, Kawasaki, Plastic Omnium, Royal Dutch Shell, Statoil, The Linde Group, Total and Toyota – as well as 10 dynamic players from across the value chain – Ballard, Faber Industries, Faurecia, First Element Fuel (True Zero), Gore, Hydrogenics, Mitsubishi Corporation, Mitsui and Co, Plug Power, and Toyota Tsusho. The coalition collectively represents total revenues of over €1.5 trillion and more than two million jobs around the world. To find out more: http://www.hydrogencouncil.com/.