The Hydrogen Council gathered at COP 23 in Bonn, Germany to reveal the first-of-its kind study which showcases the key role that hydrogen (H2) will play in the energy transition.

The study, entitled ‘Hydrogen, Scaling Up’, outlines a comprehensive and quantified roadmap to scale deployment of H2. In addition, the study will also show that H2 has the potential to develop $2.5 trillion of business, creating more than 30 million jobs by 2050.

Deployed at scale, H2 could account for almost one-fifth of total final energy consumed by 2050. This would reduce annual CO2 emissions by roughly six gigatonnes compared to today’s levels, and contribute roughly 20% of the abatement required to limit global warming to 2°C.

On the demand side, the Hydrogen Council sees the potential for H2 to power about 10 to 15 million cars and 500,000 trucks by 2030, with many uses in other sectors as well. Overall, the study predicts that the annual demand for H2 could increase tenfold by 2050 to almost 80 EJ. At a time when global populations are expected to grow by two billion people by 2050, H2 technologies have the potential to create opportunities for sustainable economic growth.

”The sooner we get the H2 economy going, the better…”

Takeshi Uchiyamada, Chairman of Toyota Motor Corporation and Co-chair of the Hydrogen Council

Takeshi Uchiyamada, Chairman of Toyota Motor Corporation and Co-chair of the Hydrogen Council, commented, “The world in the 21st century must transition to widespread low carbon energy use.” He continued, “H2 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 H2, which is why we are encouraging governments and investors to give it a prominent role in their energy plans. The sooner we get the H2 economy going, the better, and we are all committed to making this a reality.”

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The cost

Achieving such scale would require substantial investments; approximately $20 to $25bn annually for a total of about $280bn 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 $650bn in oil and gas, $300bn in renewable electricity, and more than $300bn in the automotive industry.

“This study confirms the place of H2 as a central pillar in the energy transition…”

 Benoît Potier, Chairman and CEO, Air Liquide

Benoît Potier, Chairman and CEO, Air Liquide, sated, “This study confirms the place of H2 as a central pillar in the energy transition, and encourages us in our support of its large-scale deployment. H2 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 H2 at the service of our economies and our societies.”

“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,” Potier added.

The launch of the new roadmap came during the Sustainability Innovation Forum in the presence of 18 senior members of the Hydrogen Council led by Co-chairs Takeshi Uchiyamada, Chairman of Toyota and Benoît Potier, Chairman and CEO, Air Liquide 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 H2 solutions for the energy transition. It was also announced that Woong-chul Yang of Hyundai Motor Company will succeed Takeshi Uchiyamada of Toyota in the rotating role of the Council’s Co-chair and preside the group together with Benoît Potier, Chairman and CEO Air Liquide, 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 H2 society and mobility.