Hydrogen Generator Market: Introduction
The global hydrogen generator market is estimated to reach ~US$ 2 Bn by 2030, expanding at a CAGR of ~6% during the forecast period. Among processes, the steam reforming segment holds a leading share of the global hydrogen generator market. The steam reforming technology is used almost exclusively to produce hydrogen. The segment is expected to create an incremental opportunity of US$ 491.91 Mn between 2020 and 2030. The hydrogen generator market in North America is estimated to expand at a substantial pace during the forecast period, owing to the increase in sales of fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) and fuel cell buses in the region.
Key Drivers of Hydrogen Generator Market
The availability of cost-effective natural gas feedstock is expected to drive the global hydrogen generator market during the forecast period. Natural gas is a major operating expense in an on-site hydrogen generator operation. However, natural gas is cost effective as compared to other low-cost feedstock such as water, biomass, and coal. Also, even if hydrogen is produced in generation plants and delivered through pipelines, gas trailers, or liquid tankers, natural gas proves to be the most cost-effective feedstock. The steam reforming technology employs natural gas as a feedstock. It is the most cost effective method for delivering hydrogen to consumers.
The immediate availability of hydrogen, which resolves storage and delivery issues, is expected to drive the global hydrogen generator market during the forecast period. An on-site hydrogen generator provides continuous and controlled supply of hydrogen, with minimum requirement for transportation to consumption site or storage. In on-site hydrogen generation, due to immediate availability of hydrogen, the amount of stored compressed hydrogen is less even for large consumptions. Thus, hydrogen can be stored in low-pressure tanks. This, in turn, costs less with the added benefit of safer operations. Hydrogen produced by large-scale production plants costs ~US$ 5–6/GJ, which is almost 3–4 times less costly than that produced by hydrogen generators. However, due to no or least storage requirements in on-site generation, the overall production cost is reduced. Thus, hydrogen generators prove to be more cost-effective than large-scale hydrogen generation plants.
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North America Offers Lucrative Opportunities to Hydrogen Generator Market
North America led the global hydrogen generator market in 2019, owing to significant demand for hydrogen for use in FCEVs. The development of supporting infrastructure, such as hydrogen refueling stations, is also expected to drive the market in the region during the forecast period. Furthermore, with declining costs of renewable electricity in particular that generated from solar PV cells and wind turbines, interest in electrolytic hydrogen is growing and there have been several demonstration projects in recent years. This is likely to propel the market for hydrogen generators in North America during the forecast period.
Major Developments in Hydrogen Generator Market
On February 12, 2020, AFC Energy announced the launch of a global mobile generator, which is powered by hydrogen to replace polluting diesel generators on construction sites. The new hydrogen power generator uses the alkaline fuel cell technology, which has been developed at AFC Energy’s research facility in Surrey, the U.K. It can be scaled from 20 kW to over 1 MW to fit with typical power requirements of construction machinery. The technology can also use ammonia as a feedstock and apply a cracker to produce hydrogen on demand.
In April 2020, BayoTech, an on-site hydrogen production company, announced to have entered a collaborative partnership with DLL. BayoTech and DLL have partnered to develop a leasing program to bring BayoTech hydrogen generators to customers. This collaboration would enable customers to have access to low-cost, on-site hydrogen without making high capital investments.
Competition Landscape of Hydrogen Generator Market
The global hydrogen generator market is highly fragmented. Various regionally organized players operate in the market. Hydrogen generators are mostly designed as per customer requirements, which further decreases the storage cost incurred to manufacturers and reduces the market competition. International as well as local players held a significant share of the global market in 2018. Key players operating in the global hydrogen generator market are Air Liquide, Air Products and Chemical Inc., Praxiar technology Inc., Linde AG., Proton On-site Inc., Hy9 Corporation, Hydrogenics Corporation, Epoch Energy Technology Corporation, MVS Engineering Pvt. Ltd., McPhy Energy SA, and Nel Hydrogen.