World Hydrogen Market Set for 3.5 Percent Annual Growth through 2018

World Hydrogen Market Set for 3.5 Percent Annual Growth through 2018

Fastest growth will be in chemical manufacturing and industrial hydrogen markets.

Rising per capita vehicle ownership rates, especially in developing countries in Asia, plus clean fuel regulations enacted to address environmental and pollution concerns, will cause world consumption of captive and merchant hydrogen to increase 3.5 percent annually through 2018 to more than 300 billion cubic meters. This is a key finding of World Hydrogen, a new study from The Freedonia Group, Inc., a Cleveland-based market research firm.

“The merchant market for hydrogen will expand more than five percent annually as the need for hydrogen in petroleum refineries exceeds refiners’ available captive resources,” said analyst Jason Carnovale. “Although refining will account for most of the total advances in absolute terms, growth will be faster in chemical manufacturing and industrial hydrogen markets.

The consumption of hydrogen in petroleum refining has greatly increased over the past two decades due to the adoption of motor vehicle emissions regulations by developed countries.  This trend will continue to drive demand going forward as developing countries address air quality issues by enforcing more stringent clean fuel regulations.  The broadening of these laws to encompass marine fuels and other fuels for off-highway equipment will further support growth.  Growth in developing countries will also be aided by rising per capita vehicle ownership rates and higher demand for fuels.  Outside of refining, hydrogen is used in the production of many important chemicals as well as in the metals, electronics, and thin-film solar industries; edible oil processing; and a variety of other applications. 

Although the United States will remain the world’s largest hydrogen market in volume terms, the greatest share of growth through 2018 is expected to occur in China.  With environmental concerns taking greater focus, the country is expected to aggressively target motor vehicle emissions by enacting and enforcing tighter clean fuel regulations.  Countries such as India and Russia, which will seek to export ultra-low sulfur fuels, will see among the fastest gains. 

In most developed countries, demand for hydrogen will grow only modestly, if at all.  Comparatively, the outlook in the U.S. and Canada will be more positive due to relatively low energy and feedstock prices.  Consumption in Western Europe and Japan, though, will be quite weak as the refining and chemical industries in these countries will face stagnant domestic demand as well as a highly competitive global market.   

                                                                                             

WORLD HYDROGEN DEMAND

(billion cubic meters)

 

% Annual Growth

Item     

2008

2013

2018

2008-

2013

2013-

2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hydrogen Demand

218.0

254.5

302.5

3.1

3.5

North America

69.8

75.4

81.1

1.6

1.5

Western Europe

52.4

51.4

52.3

-0.4

0.3

Asia/Pacific

57.8

85.0

116.0

8.0

6.4

Other Regions

38.0

42.7

53.1

2.4

4.5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 © 2014 by The Freedonia Group, Inc.

 

 

 

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