The Great Compression: The Future of the Hydrogen Economy

December 11, 2012 | State of the Market Report

Politicians, economists, and environmentalists have dreamt of a hydrogen economy for decades, where hydrogen fuel cells provide a significant portion of our power demand for stationary and transport applications. Meanwhile, fuel cell developers often attribute the painfully slow fuel cell adoption rates to the lack of a ubiquitous hydrogen supply chain. To illuminate this issue, we offer a detailed analysis of the entire cost of hydrogen generation, distribution, storage, and consumption in an effort to find the greatest bottlenecks and opportunities. By analyzing both hydrogen supply and demand, we determine that the hydrogen fuel cell market will reach $3 billion in 2030, held back by the cost of the fuel cell itself. Building on this, we find that hydrogen demand from fuel cells will total 140 million kg in 2030, a meager 0.56% of global hydrogen demand.

Coverage Area

  • Owning the Energy Transition

Table of Contents

  • Executive Summary
  • Landscape
  • Analysis
  • Outlook
  • Endnotes