WEO Week: Sectoral transitions to new energy industries
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Hydrogen

Hydrogen is a versatile energy carrier, which can help to tackle various critical energy challenges. Hydrogen can be produced from almost all energy resources, though today’s use of hydrogen in oil refining and chemical production is mostly covered by hydrogen from fossil fuels, with significant associated CO2 emissions.

Hydrogen Tall

Key findings

Low-carbon hydrogen production, 2010-2030, historical, announced and in the Sustainable Development Scenario, 2030

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A record year for electrolysis capacity

Hydrogen technologies maintained strong momentum in 2019, awakening keen interest among policy makers. It was a record year for electrolysis capacity becoming operational and several significant announcements were made for upcoming years. The fuel cell electric vehicle market almost doubled owing to outstanding expansion in China, Japan and Korea. However, low-carbon production capacity remained relatively constant and is still off track with the SDS. More efforts are needed to: scale up to reduce costs; replace high-carbon with low-carbon hydrogen in current applications; and expand hydrogen use to new applications.

Global demand for pure hydrogen, 1975-2018

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Demand for hydrogen continues to rise, almost entirely supplied from fossil fuels

Supplying hydrogen to industrial users is now a major business around the world. Demand for hydrogen, which has grown more than threefold since 1975, continues to rise – almost entirely supplied from fossil fuels, with 6% of global natural gas and 2% of global coal going to hydrogen production. As a consequence, production of hydrogen is responsible for CO2 emissions of around 830 million tonnes of carbon dioxide per year, equivalent to the CO2 emissions of the United Kingdom and Indonesia combined.
Our work on Hydrogen

The Hydrogen TCP, founded in 1977, works to accelerate hydrogen implementation and widespread utilisation in the areas of production, storage, distribution, power, heating, mobility and industry. The Hydrogen TCP seeks to optimise environmental protection, improve energy security, transform global energy systems and grid management, and promote international economic development, as well as serving as the premier global resource for expertise in all aspects of hydrogen technology.