The increased utilization of hydrogen as a fuel will drive annual demand from approximately 775,000 kilograms (kg) in 2010 to 418 million kg by 2020. The research firm believes that fuel cells that use direct hydrogen are opening up a new business opportunity for hydrogen suppliers.
The key direct hydrogen fuel cell applications that are currently seeing traction are light duty vehicles, forklifts, buses, stationary power, and scooters. These fuel cell market present different infrastructure buildout pathways, with varying opportunities and challenges.
As a result of this infrastructure investment, more than 5,200 hydrogen fueling stations for cars, buses and forklifts will be operational worldwide by 2020, up from just 200 stations in 2010, says Pike Research.
Lisa Jerram, senior analyst at Pike Research, said: â€œThere is no one clear business model for the hydrogen infrastructure market at present. Currently, the major players in hydrogen fueling are large multinationals: the industrial gas companies, and the energy and gas companies, both those that operate retail gas stations and those that provide fuels for the grid. These companies tend to favor large-scale hydrogen infrastructure options.â€
Pike Researchâ€™s analysis indicates that forklifts will be the largest driver of hydrogen fuel demand by 2020, representing 36 percent of the total market by that time. The other large application categories include light duty vehicles, which will consume 33 percent of total hydrogen, and uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) for stationary power, which will represent 27 percent of the total. Fuel cell buses and scooters will each be a relatively small percentage of total hydrogen demand.
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