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Future hydrogen use

What are the future uses of hydrogen?
Car being refuelled by a hydrogen bowser marked H2 at a refueling station
© Getty Images
Let’s look ahead to future hydrogen usage.

The way in which hydrogen and hydrogen-based fuels are used in the future will evolve if the world is to achieve net‐zero emissions by 2050.

These changes were assessed as part of the Net Zero by 2050 – A Roadmap for the Global Energy Sector report, whereby it proposed that:

  • In 2050, global hydrogen demand would increase by more than five times from current levels.
  • Initially, current hydrogen uses would be converted to use low‐carbon hydrogen, such as in industry and in refineries and power plants, as well as for blending of hydrogen into natural gas networks.
  • Towards 2050, large increases in hydrogen demand would be seen in the transportation sector via an increase in hydrogen fuelled trucks and hydrogen-based fuels used in shipping and aviation. A large increase in hydrogen demand is also expected for electricity generation, however this is mainly in the form of hydrogen-based fuels supporting gas or coal-fired power plants and is only predicted to contribute to 2% of overall electricity generation in 2050.

Global hydrogen demand in 2050 graph
Global hydrogen demand in 2050 graph (Image based on IEA (2022), Global Hydrogen Review 2022, IEA, Paris, License: CC BY 4.0).

Your task

Reflect on the increased level of demands for hydrogen over the next 20 to 30 years. Where do you see the biggest increase in sector usage?


IEA (2022), Global Hydrogen Review 2022, IEA, Paris, License: CC BY 4.0

IEA (2021), Net Zero by 2050, IEA, Paris , License: CC BY 4.0

© Deakin University
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The Role of Hydrogen in the Clean Energy Transition

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