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Three key uncertainties to resolve to drive hydrogen scale

Source:  Update:2022-09-02 18:31:09 Author:  Browse:35

Reducing green hydrogen’s production costs, raising electrolyser efficiencies and upping the pace of infrastructure development to drive adoption are three key industry uncertainties that need to be resolved, according to McKinsey’s Technology Trends Outlook 2022 report.

Drastic reductions in production costs, coupled with infrastructure development to enable adoption, are required to scale hydrogen production across a wider set of applications, the report states.

Lower production costs of electrolysers must be paired with higher efficiency to improve hydrogen density, purity and lifetime, while dispatchable electrolysers will allow for the integration of more intermittent renewable energy sources in the system.

Overarching uncertainties include supply chain risks amid global economic uncertainties, as well as insufficient regulatory clarity on decarbonisation commitments, renewable-energy requirements, and uncertain carbon pricing, the report adds.

With key disruptions enabled, McKinsey forecasts a 65% share of hydrogen supply mix coming from green hydrogen by 2035 – and up to 80% by 2050.

Around 28% of final energy consumption could be met by green hydrogen by 2050, and hydrogen demand could grow five times by the same year, driven by transport and mobility.

McKinsey estimates that annual investments in energy supply and production could double by 2035, reaching $1.5trn.

“Overall the shift to clean energy would trigger profound changes across both energy-producing and energy-intensive sectors,” it notes. “While capacity and reliability constraints could slow the uptake of clean energy, growing capital spending and more regulatory support could help accelerate adoption.”

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