Hydrogen, used across various industrial applications such as chemicals, electronics, glass, etc., is produced both as a principal product and a by-product. More than 90% of total hydrogen demand across the globe depends upon fossil fuel based resources. Only a small fraction of this demand is met by hydrogen produced by water electrolysis.
Different kind of electrolyzers such as alkaline electrolyzer, polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) electrolyzer, solid oxide electrolyzer etc. are available in the market, which differ in processing methods and operational efficiency. Hydrogen electrolyzer disintegrates water into oxygen and hydrogen gases by passage of electric current. In order to meet optimum volume demand for different applications, these electrolyzers are available in varying capacities with hydrogen generation ranging from small scale production (100 liter/h) to large scale production (1000 liter/h).
Considered as a green fuel of the future, governments across the globe are highly focused on creating a sustainable hydrogen economy, for which electrolyzers are expected to play a significant role over the coming years. Besides, hydrogen electrolyzers are also anticipated to gain popularity in small scale industrial applications with more end-users favoring for on-site hydrogen generation in industries such as food & beverages, metal production and fabrication, electronics, and others.
Government regulations and public-private partnerships for promoting the use of hydrogen as an automotive fuel and energy carrier are expected to emerge as the most significant growth driver for electrolyzers market over the forecast period. Moreover, in geographies where transportation of hydrogen from long distances is either not cost effective or generation cost from natural gas is comparatively higher, end-users are preferring small scale electrolyzers for on-site generation.
Although, technological advancements in hydrogen electrolyzers are bringing the overall hydrogen production cost down, still there is a long way to go to make electrolysis as cost efficient as other conventional methods of production i.e. steam methane reforming, etc.
Ongoing process level developments for increasing overall electrolyzer efficiency, such as advancements in catalyst & membrane effectiveness, are expected to make the process of electrolysis more cost effective over the coming decade. Further, development of efficient hydrogen storage system and high-pressure electrolyzers are expected to provide significant growth opportunities in the global hydrogen electrolyzer market over the forecast period of 2016-2026.
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