Europe aims to create an advanced hydrogen economy, the EU's hydrogen strategy was recently published. ReThink Energy has published a forecast for the development of hydrogen transport in Europe for the period up to 2040, Renen reports.
According to the authors, there will be 17 million hydrogen fuel cell vehicles in Europe by 2040. Today their number is less than a thousand.
The new hydrogen sector will grow at an average annual rate in excess of 50%, reaching over $115 billion in annual revenue in Europe by 2040. The cumulative total revenue by that time will exceed $850 billion.
Europe has a real chance of becoming a major market for many major players in one of the fastest growing sectors of the economy due to the growing volume of hydrogen programs and the corresponding financial commitments for “green” hydrogen. Neither the United States nor China, a leader in renewable energy sources, seem quite ready for a hydrogen revolution.
The authors believe that while green hydrogen also serves the growing needs of other sectors such as heating, energy storage and manufacturing, it is the transport sector, due to its sheer volume, that will give Europe the chance to rapidly develop technology leadership through economies of scale.
In the first phase, the growth in the use of hydrogen fuel cells will be seen in the rail transport industry, where there is already an economic case for hydrogen, but then the main demand will shift to the trucking sector. The widespread commercialization of fuel cell trucks is expected around the turn of the 2030s. They will become the largest consumers of hydrogen by 2036.
By 2030, total hydrogen demand from road transport in Europe will exceed 1,350 kilotons per year, up from 2 kilotons today. The market, driven by cost reductions and government incentives for decarbonization, will continue to accelerate and demand will grow nearly 7-fold to reach 13,800 kilotons by 2040.
Most of the consumption will come from hydrogen trucks, which are expected to reach 2 million in Europe by 2040. The next segment in terms of hydrogen demand will be the segment of light commercial vehicles, the number of which will reach 5 million. In addition, by the indicated date, 240,000 hydrogen buses, 9 million passenger cars and 9,600 trains will run in the EU.
Annual spending on clean hydrogen for the transport sector in Europe will reach nearly $12 billion by 2040, which will be distributed through a network of more than 5,000 filling stations.
The market for hydrogen fuel cells will become large. While costs are likely to drop 82% as production capacity grows, the combined annual revenue of players operating in Europe will exceed $2 billion.
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