It’s early days for renewable hydrogen, but the potential is enormous, and several nations have an eye on the driver’s seat.
Air Liquide had a special gift for the U.S. on the little-known National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Day this month: The French industrial giant announced plans to make renewably produced liquid hydrogen at an upcoming plant near Las Vegas.
The company said its facility will have a production capacity of 30 tons of liquid hydrogen a day. Most of this would be destined for California, where there are plans for 200 hydrogen filling stations by 2025, Air Liquide said.
The announcement adds to the sense of a trend in the emerging sector.
“Green hydrogen seems like it’s at some sort of possible inflection,” said Ben Gallagher, an expert on carbon and emerging technology at Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables. “There’s definitely something in the air.”
Investors and policymakers are starting to take note. Although green hydrogen is still very much in its infancy, here are 10 countries that are taking steps to be at the forefront of developing what could be a major source of energy in the future.
Australia has had an almost negligible presence in green hydrogen markets to date. But it is looking to step up its participation considerably as a way of replacing fossil fuel exports with an alternative created with the country’s plentiful renewable energy resources.
This month, for example, Siemens joined a partnership to develop a 5-gigawatt combined solar and wind project aimed at powering renewable hydrogen production.
Likely destinations for Australian green hydrogen include Japan and South Korea. “Generally, we’d be looking for a country [that’s] an energy importer and is seeking a low-emission fuel,” said Paul Graham, energy flagship chief economist at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation.
Canada sees potential in future green hydrogen markets, not just as a producer of the gas, based on abundant renewable resources, but also as a manufacturer of fuel cells. Natural Resources Canada, a federal department, outlined the opportunity in a paper this month.