The versatility of hydrogen means that it has the potential to help decarbonize a host of industries. In the rail sector, the first fleet of hydrogen trains has been deployed for commercial service in Germany, to replace diesel trains on non-electrified lines. Similar plans are underway in Poland, Austria, the UK and the Netherlands.
In the maritime sector, hydrogen fuel cells to power various ships and vessels, including passenger ferries, are in the demonstration stage. Hydrogen fuel cells used for onboard and onshore power supplies can eliminate pollutants including nitrogen oxide, sulfur oxides and harbor particulates. For long-distance vessels, liquefied hydrogen is being developed to help meet the International Maritime Organization’s emission reduction target of 50% by 2050.
For aviation, hydrogen has three times the energy potential of jet fuel and more than 100 times that of lithium-ion batteries. In addition to ongoing development of hydrogen systems for smaller aircraft by a range of operators, Airbus has plans to deploy its first hydrogen/electric-powered commercial passenger aircraft by 2035.
Countries committing to hydrogen
Sources: Eurasia Group; International Energy Agency; Bloomberg
Cost comparison: renewable hydrogen vs. fossil fuel-based hydrogen
$ per kg/year