A new report predicts the global hydrogen energy and fuel cell market will be worth $180bn in 2050 – growing 26% annually over the next decade.

The report from the Partnership for Advancing the Transition to Hydrogen (PATH) is PATH’s second such report, which includes the fuel cell market, also shows new progress in the sector in just the past two years.

Data contributed by PATH’s members show interesting trends within key countries developing the hydrogen and fuel cell markets and a new look at the sector globally. For example, Italy recently invested €1.4m in a project testing fuel cell vehicles on public roads in Perugia and implemented nine trolleybuses in the City of Parma, while Germany opened the largest hydrogen refueling station in Europe in 2012, with the capability of delivering 750kg of hydrogen daily, enough to fuel about 250 vehicles per day.

Worldwide employment is expected to rise to 700,000 workers by 2019, and, in the United States, fuel cell vehicles on the road are anticipated to rise from 430 in 2013 to over 53,000 by 2017.

A special new report on Argentina highlights their efforts to promote the industry at both the local and international levels.

“PATH’s second annual report provides a comprehensive analysis of global developments in hydrogen and fuel cell markets,” said PATH Chairman, Terry Kimmel.

“Through the 16 national associations we represent we can show there is a growing global trend in hydrogen and fuel cell commercialisation, led by several countries with strong national programs.”

For PATH’s 16 member countries on six different continents, the report examines the status of current and planned hydrogen and fuel cell projects, government funding and legislation – or lack thereof – for the industry, existing educational programs, and notable key world events that have successfully showcased hydrogen and fuel cell products. The report also provides an analysis of the challenges that the hydrogen community still faces and offers a list of strategies that can serve as best practices for industry development.

The Annual Report on World Progress in Hydrogen Energy is sponsored by the International Association for Hydrogen Energy, the Association Française pour l’Hydrogène, Deutscher Wasserstoff-und Brennstoffzellen-Verband, and Universiti Teknologi Malaysia and published by Technology Transition Corporation.