Cedigaz has just released its thematic report “CLEAN HYDROGEN: Building Large-scale Supply Chains”, which assesses progress in the development of large-scale clean hydrogen supply chains worldwide and looks at industry efforts to produce clean hydrogen.
THE NEW WORLD HYDROGEN ECONOMY
Since 2017, governments from 18 countries have adopted national hydrogen strategies for deploying clean (low and zero carbon) hydrogen energy solutions. Leading companies around the world are proactively investing in clean hydrogen and related technologies. The transition to clean hydrogen would create a significant step-change in hydrogen production technology in terms of scale and costs, making clean hydrogen solutions more attractive not only for industry, but also in all other sectors. Clean hydrogen is an emerging market. It is a key lever for achieving deep decarbonisation, specifically in hard-to-abate sectors like transport. It can tackle various critical energy challenges, including facilitating the large-scale integration of intermittent renewables, enabling grid balancing and seasonal storage. It can also help to improve air quality and strengthen energy security. Its potential is immense and future developments depend on energy and environmental policies, cost reductions and competition with other low-carbon options.
According to a new report by CEDIGAZ, CCUS is coming back into the limelight, especially in the US and in Europe, in the wake of the Paris agreement, boosted by a growing interest in hydrogen, rising carbon prices, new supporting policies and new business models.
There are currently 20 new, large-scale, CCUS projects planned around the world, nine of them in Europe. While projects developed in the middle of the 2000s mainly targeted coal-fired power plants and stored the captured carbon, the focus of the new projects is different as they tend to concentrate on industrial and manufacturing processes and on carbon utilization rather than just storage. Several projects involve production of clean hydrogen from natural gas, a cheaper option than hydrolysis using renewable power. New business models aim at reducing costs by dis-integrating the CCUS value chain into its three components of capture, transport and storage, and by addressing clusters of industrial facilities to achieve economies of scale.
The biomethane sector is booming worldwide. There will soon be more than 1,000 biomethane production plants operating in thirty-four countries, up from 720 at year-end 2017. Long centered in Europe, the green gas sector is indisputably going global.
Since 2010, world biomethane production has increased exponentially, reaching three billion cubic meters in 2017. In Europe, biomethane use is spreading across the continent. There are now nineteen European producing countries, whose output totalled nearly 2 bcm in 2017. The United States is now world leader for the use of biomethane as vehicle fuel, further to its production surge of 2014-2017 and driven by federal and state regulations. The fact that China and India have recently adopted biogas upgrading technology promises to be a game changer. Both countries have set ambitious biomethane production targets and figure as huge emerging markets. In Central and South America, Brazil is taking regulatory steps to exploit its huge potential.
Despite a flurry of projects and rising interest among governments and industry players worldwide, data on this sector are comparatively scarce and sources of information – national, regional or sectoral – are highly dispersed. To fill this void, CEDIGAZ, the International Centre on Natural Gas Information, is launching a new report and database focused on global biomethane markets and production plants. These are valuable tools for policy makers, energy companies, equipment providers or any entity or individual following this rapidly expanding market.