Electrolyser and green hydrogen markets to grow, says IDTechEx
Technology company IDTechEx has forecasted that the water electrolyser market will grow to over $120 billion by 2033.
In its ‘Green Hydrogen Production: Electrolyser Markets 2023-2033’ report, IDTechEx noted that the plans from the European Union (EU), from the RePowerEU strategy, and the USA, from the inflation reduction act, look to significantly increase clean hydrogen production and consumption over the coming decade. In addition, countries such as Japan and South Korea have ambitious hydrogen strategies.
By 2025, IDTechEx estimates that nameplate electrolyser manufacturing will have grown 5x compared to 2022.
The company noted that European companies are particularly active in their plans to expand and grow their electrolyser manufacturing capacities, though significant investment is also expected from Chinese and US companies, while Indian and Australian players are looking to enter the market.
IDTechEx said that growth is expected across the three main types of electrolyser technology: alkaline electrolysers (AEL), polymer-exchange-membrane or proton-exchange-membrane electrolysers (PEMEL), and solid-oxide electrolysers (SOEL).
Alkaline electrolysers are the most widely commercialised type, with large manufacturers in China and Europe, including Auyun, LONGi Hydrogen, John Cockerill, and thyssenkrupp.
PEM electrolysers, which are more expensive, are at an earlier stage of commercialisation but are expected to gain market share as capital costs decrease, as well as due to some favourable 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 electrolysers, operating at high temperatures, offer higher total efficiencies but are currently more expensive than the other two, have shorter lifetimes, and are at the earliest stage of commercialisation.
Danish company Topsoe is looking to implement its SOELs alongside its alkaline offerings, aiming to have a 500 MW SOEL manufacturing site operational in 2024. Bloom Energy in the US is also aiming to leverage its solid-oxide fuel cell capabilities to accelerate its entry into the electrolyser market. In 2022, it announced the completion of its new high-volume SOEL manufacturing facility in the US. Even though these two companies are looking to push the commercialisation of SOELs, the number of companies active in its development is low compared to alkaline or PEMEL systems.
IDTechEx noted that each of the electrolyser types brings its own set of advantages and disadvantages, however, growth in the electrolyser market across all three main types will be needed to meet the ambitious national and regional targets for green and clean hydrogen production.
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