Green hydrogen produced from renewable power will lead the global no- or low emission hydrogen pipeline and according to Fitch Solutions has swelled to 72GW thanks to increasingly stringent emissions laws and decarbonisation targets.

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At the same time, projects are becoming more numerous and bigger, led by Asia and North America and Western Europe (NAWE), with a series of gigawatt scale projects planned in Australia, Germany, the Netherlands and Saudi Arabia.

The hydrogen pipeline tracked by the analysts only contains four blue hydrogen (produced from natural gas linked to carbon capture and storage, or CCS) projects, but 76 green hydrogen projects in planning and development stages.

“We note that projects are growing in size from tens of megawatts to several gigawatts. Of the 76 green hydrogen projects, representing an approximate 72GW, 17 are greater than 1GW in scale. In total, these 17 projects account for 66GW of hydrogen production capacity,” Fitch Solutions said in a research note.

Australia leads

The largest project listed by the analysts is the Asian Renewable Energy Hub in Australia, with a planned renewable power capacity of 14GW, followed by the NortH2 (by Shell, Equinor, RWE and Gasunie) and AquaVentus projects in the Netherlands and Germany respectively, which each are slated to eventually reach a 10GW renewables capacity.

But while Asia (including Australia) has a 49.1% share in the global project capacity pipeline, the NAWE region follows with 40.4%, a share that may rise due to the EU’s centralised hydrogen strategy that targets 40GW of internal market capacity alone.

“Western Europe is expected to see the largest number of targeted project completions with 30 projects aimed between 2021 and 2030 compared to Asia’s count of 11, the the analysts said.

As for consumption, Fitch Solutions expects hydrogen derived exports and the ammonia industry to emerge as the largest source of direct commercial demand for hydrogen production, while oil refining industries become the largest independent onsite offtaker.