The Hydrogen Stream: IEA says just 7% of planned capacity to go online by 2030


The IEA said in a new report that just 7% of the renewable hydrogen projects planned throughout the world are expected to go online by 2030. “The slow pace of projects reaching an investment decision combined with limited appetite from off-takers and higher production costs have led to slower progress on many projects,” said the IEA. The Paris-based organization noted that ambitious project announcements should be followed by consistent demand-supporting policies to to satisfy investors.

Airbus has opened a ZEROe Development Centre (ZEDC) for hydrogen technologies at its Stade site in Germany. “The center will accelerate the development of composite hydrogen-system technologies for storing and distributing cryogenic liquid hydrogen,” said the aerospace group, noting that the ZEDC is supported by public funds. It will complement other Airbus sites in Germany, France, Spain, and the United Kingdom. The company says it wants to put a hydrogen-powered plane in the sky by 2035.

Gascade Gastransport has signed a grid-connection agreement with HH2E's green hydrogen production site in Lubmin, Germany. The site in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern is expected to start production by the end of 2025. The production plant will be connected to the European Gas Pipeline Link (EUGAL Lines 1 and 2), which will initially transport a blend of natural gas and green hydrogen. The onshore pipeline Flow stretches to southern Germany and is part of the country's core hydrogen network. The hydrogen-blending contract is the first of its kind for both companies. 

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Wood Mackenzie said clarity is emerging in key parts of the world, potentially unlocking early growth in the hydrogen sector this year. The focus will shift to projects progressing toward final investment decisions (FID), with Japan and South Korea expected to reveal subsidy schemes and emissions thresholds early in the year. The consultancy anticipates supportive policies for blue ammonia imports in these markets, facilitating faster market scaling at a lower cost. Despite needed clarity from a US Department of the Treasury decision on Dec. 22, 2023, the United States could still face delays in manufacturing scale-up and projects going online.

MIT researchers have proposed a phased approach for US hydrogen projects, focusing on tax credits under the US Inflation Reduction Act. In the initial phase, green hydrogen produced with grid electricity should receive credits under looser standards. As hydrogen demand grows, the industry should adhere to stricter standards, ensuring electricity comes from renewable sources. Over the long term, when the grid relies mainly on renewable energy, standards could loosen again, the researchers wrote in “The influence of additionality and time-matching requirements on the emissions from grid-connected hydrogen production,” which was recently published in Nature Energy. The researchers noted the importance of “time matching” and “additionality,” and said adaptive rules should align with evolving market conditions and industry changes.

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