Delta-EE: Europe on track for 2.7 GW of operational hydrogen electrolyser capacity by 2025

Source: press release, 8 June 2021

Delta-EE product manager, Dr Robert Bloom (photo: Delta-EE)

Delta-EE, the specialist new energy research and consulting company, has conducted in-depth research into the state of the rapidly growing European hydrogen electrolyser market, finding that total announced project capacity would take the green hydrogen sector to 2.7 GW by 2025 – a nearly 50-fold increase on capacity built over the last 10 years. However, time is running out to establish the many projects on the 100s of MW scale required to achieve an EU target of 6 GW by 2024.

The research is the first produced by Delta-EE’s new Global Hydrogen Intelligence Service, created to provide data, analysis, insights and realism on how the new global clean hydrogen sector is developing.

In the last 10 years, the project activity around clean hydrogen has been growing quickly, with 67 operational projects including electrolysers, and targeting new energy applications developed across 13 different countries. These projects offer a total capacity of 56 MW, producing an estimated 4,700 tonnes of green hydrogen per year. Approximately half of this is consumed by the transport industry, and approximately one third is used for decarbonising industrial applications, such as petrochemical refining.

Today nearly half of all European electrolyser capacity is in Germany, while no other country has more than 10 MW installed. However, the sector is expanding fast; the first major projects in several countries (e.g., Spain, Netherlands, Denmark) will be at the 10s of MW scale in 2021/22 and will soar towards the 100s MW by 2025. A key factor in this growth will be the increase in manufacturing capacity of electrolyser manufacturers. Today’s leading manufacturers such as Nel Hydrogen, ITM Power, Cummins and McPhy, are all building factories capable of producing 100s of MW if not GWs of electrolysers a year.

Dr Robert Bloom, product manager, comments on the expanding electrolyser market, “There are two sides to this story. On the one hand, this is incredibly rapid growth of a key technology for net-zero targets; on the other, it’s still well short of the tremendously ambitious national and EU targets that have been set.”

“We should remember though, that this is an embryonic market. The current project pipeline is driven almost entirely by EU or national funding with project stakeholders targeting use-sectors where state aid is strongest. With the huge amounts of capital made available through various national hydrogen strategies, the EU green deal and IPCEI [Important projects of common European interest] Hydrogen, we expect to see many more projects added to the pipeline,” Dr Bloom adds.

The Global Hydrogen Intelligence Service covers hundreds of different project data types across production, storage and end-use for hydrogen, including data on companies, assets and individual projects and estimating total production and utilisation of clean hydrogen. The service complements Delta-EE’s existing new energy expertise in areas such as the decarbonisation of heating and transport, flexibility, and business models.

“We were already looking at hydrogen through various lenses,” explains Jon Slowe, director at Delta-EE “For example, our heat research service looked at the potential of hybrid hydrogen/heat pump residential heating systems, and our electric vehicle charging research delves into decarbonising applications such as buses. As hydrogen establishes itself as a key part of decarbonisation efforts worldwide, it makes sense to centralise and formalise that expertise into its own service, providing the full-value chain insight that our clients know us for.”