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Hydrogen is a versatile energy carrier, which can help to tackle various critical energy challenges. Hydrogen can be produced from almost all energy resources, though today’s use of hydrogen in oil refining and chemical production is mostly covered by hydrogen from fossil fuels, with significant associated CO2 emissions.

Hydrogen Tall

Key findings

Cumulative emissions reduction by mitigation measure in the Net Zero Scenario, 2021-2050


Hydrogen is an increasingly important piece of the net zero emissions by 2050 puzzle

The key pillars of decarbonising the global energy system are energy efficiency, behavioural change, electrification, renewables, hydrogen and hydrogen‐based fuels, and CCUS. The importance of hydrogen in the Net zero Emissions Scenario is reflected in its increasing share in cumulative emission reductions. Strong hydrogen demand growth and the adoption of cleaner technologies for its production thus enable hydrogen and hydrogen based fuels to avoid up to 60 Gt CO2 emissions in 2021-2050 in the Net zero Emissions Scenario, representing 6% of total cumulative emissions reductions.

Global hydrogen demand by sector in the Net Zero Scenario, 2020-2030


Demand for hydrogen continues to rise, almost entirely supplied from fossil fuels

Hydrogen technologies proved remarkably resilient during the Covid-19 pandemic, with their momentum remaining strong in 2020. It was a record year in policy action and low-carbon hydrogen production, with ten governments around the world adopting hydrogen strategies. Close to 70 MW of electrolysis capacity was installed, doubling the previous year’s record, and two facilities producing hydrogen from fossil fuels with CCUS became operational, expanding production capacity by about 15%. However, this progress falls well short of what is needed in the Net Zero Emissions by 2050 Scenario. Moreover, low-carbon hydrogen demand for new applications remains low, limited to road transport only. Therefore, more efforts are needed in demand creation and in reducing emissions associated with hydrogen production.
Our work on Hydrogen

The Hydrogen TCP, founded in 1977, works to accelerate hydrogen implementation and widespread utilisation in the areas of production, storage, distribution, power, heating, mobility and industry. The Hydrogen TCP seeks to optimise environmental protection, improve energy security, transform global energy systems and grid management, and promote international economic development, as well as serving as the premier global resource for expertise in all aspects of hydrogen technology.