IDTechEx forecast that the water electrolyzer market will grow to over US$120B by 2033. There has been renewed interest in the development of clean and green hydrogen industries. Plans from the European Union, from the RePowerEU strategy, and the USA, from the inflation reduction act, look to increase clean hydrogen production and consumption significantly over the coming decade. This adds to ambitious hydrogen strategies from countries including Japan and South Korea. Considerable public funding is now expected to be spent on developing green and blue hydrogen production systems, infrastructure for storage and distribution, and encouraging hydrogen use.
Selection of regional clean hydrogen policies and targets. Source IDTechEx
While regional targets are highly ambitious and optimistic, they are likely to spur rapid growth in the electrolyzer and green hydrogen markets. Many companies are looking to expand their manufacturing capacities to and beyond the GW scale. By 2025, IDTechEx estimate nameplate electrolyzer manufacturing will have grown 5x compared to 2022. European companies are particularly active in their plans to expand and grow their electrolyzer manufacturing capacities, though significant investment into electrolyzer manufacturing is also expected from Chinese and US companies, while Indian and Australian players are also looking to enter the market.
Growth is expected across the three main types of electrolyzer technology: alkaline electrolyzers (AEL), polymer-exchange-membrane or proton-exchange-membrane electrolyzers (PEMEL), and solid-oxide electrolyzers (SOEL). Alkaline electrolyzers are the most widely commercialized type, with large manufacturers in China and Europe, including Auyun, LONGi Hydrogen, John Cockerill, and Thyssenkrupp, amongst many others. The more expensive PEM electrolyzers are at an earlier stage of commercialization but are expected to gain market share as capital costs decrease, as well as due to some favorable performance characteristics compared to alkaline systems, such as higher power density and greater dynamic range. Manufacturers of PEM stacks and systems are spread across China, the USA, and Europe. Solid-oxide electrolyzers represent the final main type of electrolyzer. Operating at high temperatures, they offer higher total efficiencies but are currently more expensive, have shorter lifetimes and are at the earliest stage of commercialization. Danish company Topsoe are looking to implement their SOELs alongside their alkaline offerings, aiming to have a 500 MW SOEL manufacturing site operational in 2024. Bloom Energy in the US are aiming to leverage their solid-oxide fuel cell capabilities to accelerate their entry into the electrolyzer market. In 2022, they announced their completion of a new high-volume SOEL manufacturing facility in the US. While these two companies are looking to push the commercialization of SOELs, the number of companies active in SOEL development is low compared to either alkaline or PEMEL systems.
Each of these electrolyzer types (alkaline, PEMEL, SOEL) brings its own set of advantages and disadvantages, but growth in the electrolyzer market across all three main electrolyzer types will be needed to meet the ambitious national and regional targets for green and clean hydrogen production.
To find out more on electrolyzer technology, markets and players, please see the IDTechEx report "Green Hydrogen Production: Electrolyzer Markets 2023-2033". The main contents covered in the report:
-Executive summary and conclusions
• Cost analysis
• Production capacities
• Regional targets
• Regulation and policy impact
-Electrolyser and green hydrogen market size, market outlook, market forecast
To find out about this new report, including downloadable sample pages, please visit www.IDTechEx.com/Electrolyzer.
Upcoming Free-to-Attend Webinar
A New Dawn for Green Hydrogen? An Introduction to the Green Hydrogen and Electrolyzer Market
Dr Alex Holland, Principal Technology Analyst at IDTechEx and author of this article, will be presenting a webinar on the topic on Thursday 9 March 2023 - "A New Dawn for Green Hydrogen? An Introduction to the Green Hydrogen and Electrolyzer Market".
Previous periods of interest in green hydrogen and the hydrogen economy have waned without the rapid growth or transformational shifts anticipated by some. Difficulty in producing green hydrogen cost-effectively, developing the necessary transport and distribution infrastructure, and alternatives to hydrogen in end-use sectors have been contributing factors. Nevertheless, green hydrogen offers a route to decarbonizing a number of hard-to-abate industries. Over the past year, ambitious policy announcements from the EU and USA, alongside targets, goals and strategies from other regions, has renewed interest in clean and green hydrogen. Decarbonization, energy security, and a desire to capture a portion of a burgeoning market, are the driving forces behind these policies.
However, current hydrogen production is reliant on the reformation of natural gas or gasification of coal and, while generally cheap, results in the emission of CO2. To produce green hydrogen, electrolyzers are powered by renewable or low-carbon electricity to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. Electrolyzers are, therefore, the key technology underpinning the development of a low-carbon, green hydrogen market and the availability, cost, and performance of these electrolyzer systems will be critical in enabling cost-effective green hydrogen production. This IDTechEx webinar will highlight the key factors driving growth in green hydrogen, introduce electrolyzer technologies and their performance characteristics, and provide an overview on the current electrolyzer market landscape.
The webinar will:
- Discuss the drivers behind green hydrogen demand
- Provide an introduction to electrolyzer technologies, innovations and trends
- Outline the key challenges to adoption
- Provide an introduction into the electrolyzer market landscape
This webinar shares some of the research from the new IDTechEx report, "Green Hydrogen Production: Electrolyzer Markets 2023-2033".