15 Nov 17

Hydrogen can cut CO2 and create 30 million jobs

The Hydrogen Council, uniting 18 stakeholders in hydrogen-based mobility, reckons H2 can contribute to 20 percent of carbon dioxide emission reduction targets by 2050. At the same time, the transition towards hydrogen has the potential to create $2.5 trillion worth of business and 30 million jobs. That is what McKinsey’s study Hydrogen, Scaling up shows.

Sustainable economic growth

The Hydrogen Council was founded in 2017 and comprises multinationals like Air Liquide, Alstom, Anglo American, Audi, BMW, Daimler, Engie, GM, Honda, Hyundai, Royal Dutch Shell, Statoil, Total and Toyota. They believe that hydrogen could power 10 to 15 million cars and 500,000 trucks by 2030. H2 has multiple applications in other sectors, too, such as industry processes and feedstocks, heating, power generation and power storage.

Overall, the study predicts that the annual demand for hydrogen has the potential to grow tenfold by 2050 to almost 80 EJ, meeting 18 percent of total final energy demand. With the global population expected to increase by two billion people, hydrogen technologies can play a key role in ensuring sustainable economic growth.

Not just for mobility

The Hydrogen Council has identified seven roles for hydrogen, which is why it is encouraging governments and investors to give it a prominent role in their energy plans. “The world in the 21st century must transition to widespread low carbon energy use,” said Takeshi Uchiyamada, Chairman of Toyota Motor Corporation.

“Hydrogen is an indispensable resource to achieve this transition because it can be used to store and transport wind, solar and other renewable electricity to power transportation and many other things”, he added. “The sooner we get the hydrogen economy going, the better, and we are all committed to making this a reality.”

Feasible investments

The study also shows that an investment of $20 to 25 billion per year will be needed until 2030 to achieve the necessary scale. Within the right regulatory framework - including a stable long-term policy and incentives - attracting these investments to scale the technology is feasible, the Hydrogen Council believes.

According to McKinsey, the world already invests more than $1.7 trillion in energy each year, including $650 billion in oil and gas, $300 billion in renewable electricity, and more than $300 billion in the automotive industry.

Authored by: Dieter Quartier