Exploring the Demand-Supply Dynamics of Electrolyzers by 2030 in the Industrial Sector

Green energy is making significant strides, and among the noteworthy trends is green hydrogen. Today, I’ll discuss a new report from Clean Energy Associates, focusing on technology trends in the green hydrogen space and the rise of electrolyzers.

Electrolyzers are devices used in the production of green hydrogen, an essential piece of the solar puzzle when it comes to achieving an environmentally-friendly energy transition. However, there’s a likelihood of an interesting situation by the close of this decade: electrolyzer manufacturing capacity could exceed demand by twice over.

The numbers look like this: By 2027, the global manufacturing capacity for green hydrogen could hit 54 GW. Much of this potential lies in China, which would account for nearly half of the said capacity. Combine the figures with North America and Europe, these regions would cover approximately 93% of the electrolyzer capacity on a global scale.

Why China, you may ask? The country has complete control of its supply chain for hydrogen production and economies of scale working to its advantage. As a result, it currently holds a 61% stake in manufacturing capacity worldwide. However, with recent policy support seen in the Inflation Reduction Act, North America shows strong potential for rapid expansion in its manufacturing capacity.

Let’s not forget that while we can produce hydrogen using various materials like coal and natural gas, it’s green hydrogen we’re primarily interested in. This kind of hydrogen, fostered using renewables like solar or wind, will play a vital role in clean energy transition, notably in the U.S.

The report also provides insight into different electrolyzer technologies. Primarily we’ve got alkaline and proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolyzers. Alkaline electrolyzers, strategically based in China and Europe, will remain the dominant technology due to their cost-effectiveness and potential for efficiency gains. PEM electrolyzers, on the other hand, are more globally spread. However, they rely on electrodes using rare materials which could pose certain challenges.

The current forecast suggests that by 2030, electrolyzer manufacturing capacity might overshadow demand. However, the actual usable capacity could be less than the declared capacity, owing to various factors such as policy changes, developments in the downstream industry, the availability of low-cost renewable energy, and the successful functioning of existing projects.

The overarching focus of the solar industry remains on escalating electrolyzer manufacturing capacity. A significant roadblock to fulfiling this ambition is the access to necessary capital. But there’s promising news on the horizon indicating changing trends.

There’s still work to be done in this sector, especially in finding alternatives to the rare materials used in PEM electrolyzer technology. But with the continuous innovations sparking within the solar companies, a greener future seems a lot more achievable. As solar panel installations become commonplace in our homes, green hydrogen could be the next star of the solar array for home setups. To truly harness the power of green hydrogen, rest assured that experts in the solar field are working tirelessly. Together, these strides may soon change the face of clean energy as we know it. Stay tuned for more solar industry updates on this blog!

Original Articlehttps://pv-magazine-usa.com/2024/02/12/electrolyzer-manufacturing-capacity-could-outpace-demand-by-2030/

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