After only comprising 10% of the global capacity in 2020, China’s installed hydrogen electrolyzer capacity has increased rapidly in recent years and is anticipated to reach 1.2 gigawatts by 2020, or 50% of the global capacity.
By the end of 2023, China will own half of the installed capacity for producing low-carbon hydrogen globally, notwithstanding a slowdown in new projects owing to inflation.
After a sluggish start, China has reportedly taken the lead in hydrogen electrolyzer deployment, according to a report from the International Energy Agency published on Friday.
China’s installed electrolyzer capacity has jumped significantly in recent years and is expected to reach 1.2 gigawatts — 50 percent of the global capacity — after having accounted for just 10 percent of the global capacity in 2020.
Electrolyzers are machines that separate hydrogen and oxygen from water molecules in an industrial setting utilizing electricity produced by renewable energy sources like solar, wind, or nuclear power.
Electrolyzers are increasingly necessary to replace conventional methods of manufacturing industrial hydrogen as the world moves toward a greener energy future.
These have relied on an economical but greenhouse gas-emitting technique connected to the petrochemical industry that uses polluting methane gas.
If all of the announced projects are carried out, low-carbon hydrogen output could reach 38 million tonnes by 2030, according to the IEA.
The IEA is worried that growing inflation-related equipment costs are “putting projects at risk and reducing the impact of government support for deployment”. According to the statement, “a number of projects have increased their initial cost estimates by as much as 50%.”
The organization is particularly concerned about how slowly green hydrogen is replacing traditionally generated grey hydrogen in different parts of the world.
According to the report, less than 1% of global hydrogen electrolyzer demand in 2022 came from low-emission hydrogen, which resulted in 900 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions from hydrogen use.
“Low-emission hydrogen use is still far from what is needed to meet climate goals,” the report said while calling for greater international cooperation to avoid market fragmentation.