Despite all the challenges that 2020 has brought, a staggering 50GW of green-hydrogen electrolysis projects have been announced this year, out of a current global total of 80GW, as more and more countries announce ambitious clean-hydrogen strategies to help them decarbonise transport, heating and heavy industry.

Many of these projects are gigawatt-scale, with the hope that their immense size will quickly bring down the cost of green hydrogen through economies of scale — in the same way that the prices of wind and solar power have fallen exponentially over the past decade.

It has been a remarkably rapid development for green hydrogen when you consider that the world’s largest electrolyser currently in operation is only 10MW, and that most of these gigawatt-scale H2 projects will also be among the planet’s largest renewables plants.

Here are the world’s 13 biggest green-hydrogen projects now under development — all gigawatt-scale and adding up to 61GW — led by a facility that would be both the largest ever wind farm, and the largest ever solar array.

1) Asian Renewable Energy Hub (14GW)

Location: Pilbara, Western Australia

Power source: 16GW of onshore wind and 10GW of solar to power 14GW of electrolysers

Developers: InterContinental Energy, CWP Energy Asia, Vestas, Macquarie

Planned use of H2: Green hydrogen and green ammonia for export to Asia

H2 output: 1.75 million tonnes per year (which would produce 9.9 million tonnes of green ammonia)

Planned date of completion: 2027-28

Expected cost: $36bn

Stage of development: Federal government has awarded AREH “major project status”, which will help to fast-track the project through permitting. State-level environmental approval had been given for a now-scrapped 15GW version of the project (which was to export electrons to Indonesia and Singapore), the developers are now submitting a second application for the 26GW project, which includes green ammonia facilities and the construction of a new town to house workers in remote north Western Australia.

2=) NortH2 (at least 10GW)

Location: Eemshaven, northern Netherlands

Power source: Offshore wind

Developers: Shell, Equinor, RWE, Gasunie, Groningen Seaports

Planned use of H2: To help power heavy industry in the Netherlands and Germany

H2 output: One million tonnes per year

Planned date of completion: 2040 (1GW by 2027, 4GW by 2030)

Expected cost: Not stated

Stage of development: Feasibility study under way, to be completed by July 2021

2=) AquaVentus (10GW)

Location: Heligoland, Germany

Power source: Offshore wind

Developers: A consortium of 27 companies, research institutions and organisations, including RWE, Vattenfall, Shell, E.ON, Siemens Energy, Siemens Gamesa, Vestas, Northland Power, Gasunie and Parkwind

Planned use of H2: General sale via a European hydrogen network

H2 output: One million tonnes per year

Planned date of completion: 2035 (30MW by 2025, 5GW by 2030)

Expected cost: Not stated

Stage of development: Early stage, project was only announced in August

4=) Murchison Renewable Hydrogen Project (5GW)

Location: near Kalbarri, Western Australia

Power source: Onshore wind and solar

Developers: Hydrogen Renewables Australia and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners

Planned use of H2: A demonstration phase would provide H2 for transport fuels; an expansion stage would produce H2 to blend into local natural-gas pipelines; and a final, large expansion would produce H2 for export to Asia, with a focus on Japan and South Korea

H2 output: not stated

Planned date of completion: 2028

Expected cost: $10-12bn

Stage of development: Early stage

4=) Beijing Jingneng Inner Mongolia (5GW)

Location: Eqianqi, Inner Mongolia, China

Power source: Onshore wind and solar

Developer: Chinese utility Beijing Jingneng

Planned use of H2: Not known

H2 output: 400,000-500,000 tonnes per year

Planned date of completion: 2021

Expected cost: $3bn

Stage of development: Under construction

6) Helios Green Fuels Project (4GW)

Location: Neom, a planned city in northwest Saudi Arabia

Power source: Onshore wind and solar

Developers: Air Products, ACWA Power, Neom

Planned use of H2: To produce green ammonia (NH4), which would be transported around the world and converted back into H2 for use as a transport fuel.

H2 output: About 240,000 tonnes per year (to create 1.2 million tonnes of green ammonia annually)

Planned date of completion: Not stated, but first ammonia production due in 2025

Expected cost: $5bn

Stage of development: Early stage, project was announced in July

7) Pacific Solar Hydrogen (3.6GW)

Location: Callide, Queensland, Australia

Power source: Solar

Developer: Austrom Hydrogen, a start-up

H2 output: More than 200,000 tonnes per year

Expected cost: Not stated

Planned date of completion: Not stated

Planned use of H2: Export to Japan and South Korea

Stage of development: Early stage, project was announced in June

8) H2-Hub Gladstone (3GW)

Location: Gladstone, Queensland, Australia

Power source: Renewable energy, but not otherwise specified

Developer: The Hydrogen Utility (also known as H2U)

Planned use of H2: Green ammonia for export to Japan and other countries

H2 output: Not stated, but developer says it would produce “up to 5,000 tonnes of green ammonia per day”

Expected cost: $1.6bn (not including sources of power)

Planned date of completion: Not stated, but initial operations due to begin in 2025

Stage of development: Feasibility study under way, targeting approvals by 2023

9) HyEx (1.6GW)

Location: Antofagasta, Chile

Power source: Solar

Developers: Engie and Enaex

Planned use of H2: Green ammonia, half of which will be used at Enaex’s ammonium nitrate plant; the remainder will be targeted for fuel, green fertiliser and export markets.

H2 output: 124,000 tonnes per year (700,000 tonnes of green ammonia)

Expected cost: Not stated

Planned date of completion: 2020 (26MW pilot by 2024)

Stage of development: Early stage, project was announced in October

10) Geraldton (1.5GW)

Location: Geraldton, Western Australia

Power source: Onshore wind and solar

Developer: BP/BP Lightsource

Planned use of H2: Production of green ammonia for domestic and export markets

H2 output: Not stated, but about one million tonnes of green ammonia per year

Expected cost: Not stated

Planned date of completion: Not stated

Stage of development: Feasibility study under way

11) Greater Copenhagen (1.3GW)

Location: Greater Copenhagen area, Denmark

Power source: Offshore wind preferred

Developers: Orsted, Maersk, DSV Panalpina, DFDS, SAS

Planned use of H2: Hydrogen for buses and trucks, e-fuel (derived from green hydrogen and captured CO2) for shipping and aviation

H2 output: Not stated, but it would produce “250,000 tonnes of sustainable fuel” per year.

Expected cost: Not stated

Planned date of completion: 2030 (10MW pilot as soon as 2023, 250MW by 2027)

Stage of development: Feasibility study under way, with a view to a final investment decision in 2021

12=) H2 Sines (1GW)

Location: Sines, southwest Portugal

Power source: Undecided, but likely to be onshore wind and solar

Developers: EDP, Galp, Martifer, REN, Vestas

Planned use of H2: Domestic consumption and export

H2 output: Not stated

Expected cost: €1.5bn ($1.84bn)

Planned date of completion: 2030

Stage of development: Feasibility study under way

12=) Rostock (1GW)

Location: Rostock, Germany

Power source: Offshore wind and other renewable sources

Developer: Consortium led by RWE

Planned use of H2: All avenues being explored

H2 output: Not stated

Expected cost: Not stated

Planned date of completion: Not stated

Stage of development: Very early stage