Fuel Cell Vehicles Steering Global Market for Hydrogen Economy Toward Huge CAGR

November 30, 2015

Wellesley, Mass., November 30, 2015 – Since 2010, the global hydrogen economy has undergone significant development, most notably the likelihood of large-scale commercialization of fuel cell vehicles during the forecast period. BCC Research reveals in its new report this development will significantly impact the size and structure of the market for hydrogen technologies.

Global investments in building the hydrogen economy, which totaled more than $3.4 billion in 2014, are expected to approach $4.8 billion and $21.8 in 2015 and 2020, respectively. These figures reflect a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 35.5%. Technologies for converting hydrogen to energy, particularly fuel cells, but also hydrogen internal-combustion engines and turbines in the out years, account for the bulk of the market at 79.2% in 2014, increasing to 84% in 2020.

Hydrogen production technologies are expected to lose market share (from 9% in 2014 to 8.4% in 2020). Hydrogen storage and distribution technologies should also lose market share (from 5.5% in 2014 to 1.7% in 2020), whereas the market share for other technologies, mainly hydrogen sensors, are expected to shrink from 6.2% to 5.9%.

In the U.S., DOE funding for hydrogen- and fuel cell-related activities increased from $155.6 million in fiscal year 2004 to $267.3 million in fiscal year 2008. Between fiscal years 2009 and 2014, DOE’s hydrogen and fuel cell budget declined steadily, reaching $109.4 million in 2014. The declining DOE hydrogen budget is a symptom of waning enthusiasm for fuel cells among politicians, which is largely due to the enormous cost of developing a national infrastructure of hydrogen filling stations.

For the global hydrogen economy to become a reality, hydrogen must be cost competitive with the available energy alternatives. The available evidence suggests this may be the case. In the 2015 passenger car market, this means that hydrogen would need to be available at about $2.75 per gallon of gasoline equivalent (gge) untaxed. At this price, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles would have the same cost to consumers on a cost-per-mile-driven basis as a comparable conventional internal-combustion engine or hybrid vehicle.

“This figure appears to be within reach,” says BCC Research analyst Andrew McWilliams. “At present, state-of-the-art hydrogen extraction from natural gas, pressurized and delivered to the customer, costs approximately $4.50 per gge. The U.S. Department of Energy’s FY2014 Annual Progress Report describes technology under development that could reduce the cost of delivered hydrogen to as little as $2.85 per gge.” Williams adds that “Some Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association (FCHEA) member companies believe that hydrogen can be produced and delivered economically to fueling stations at costs as low as $1.20 per gallon of gasoline equivalent.”

Building the Global Hydrogen Economy: Technologies and Opportunities (EGY055C) examines technologies used in the production, storage and distribution of hydrogen, as well as its conversion to other forms of energy or direct consumption as a fuel. The report identifies market dynamics, growth drivers, inhibitors, opportunities, and forecasts trends and revenue through 2020.

Editors and reporters who wish to speak with the analyst should contact Steven Cumming at steven.cumming@bccresearch.com.

Building the Global Hydrogen Economy: Technologies and Opportunities( EGY055C )
Publish Date: Nov 2015    

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