As global leaders gathered at COP 23 in Bonn this week, 18 key industry leaders that form the Hydrogen Council coalition launched the first globally quantified vision of the role of hydrogen.
In addition to being a key pillar of the energy transition, hydrogen has the potential to develop $2.5-trn of business, creating more than 30-million jobs by 2050. This is according to a study entitled Hydrogen, Scaling Up
, which outlines a comprehensive and quantified roadmap to scale deployment and its enabling impact on the energy transition.
Deployed at scale, hydrogen could account for almost one fifth of total final energy consumed by 2050, says the council. This would reduce annual CO2
emissions by about six gigatons compared with today's levels and contribute about 20% of the abatement required to limit global warming to 2°C.
The council sees the potential for hydrogen to power 10-million to 15-million cars and 500,000 trucks by 2030, with many uses in other sectors as well, such as industry processes and feedstocks, building heating and power, power generation and storage. Overall, the study predicts that the annual demand for hydrogen could increase tenfold by 2050 meeting 18% of total final energy demand.
At a time when global populations are expected to grow by 2-billion people by 2050, hydrogen technologies have the potential to create opportunities for sustainable growth.
"The world in the 21st century must transition to widespread low carbon energy use," says Takeshi Uchiyamada, chairman of Toyota Motor and co-chair of the council.
"Hydrogen 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 council has identified seven roles for hydrogen, which is why we are encouraging governments and investors to give it a prominent role in their energy plans. The sooner we get the hydrogen economy going, the better, and we are all committed to making this a reality."
But achieving such scale would require investments of about $20bn to $25bn annually until 2030.