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Water Electrolysis Market - Focus on End-Use Application, Electrolyzer Type, and Region - Analysis and Forecast, 2022-2031

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Tanzeel Obaid
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An electrolyzer is a system that breaks water into hydrogen and oxygen with the help of electricity. This process is known as electrolysis and it is mainly used to produce hydrogen, which is then stored as a compressed or liquefied gas. Oxygen produced during the electrolysis process is either released into the atmosphere or is stored to use for other purposes.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has projected that the energy demand will grow between 25% to 30% by 2040 with companies and governments trying to find sustainable and low-carbon emission energy sources. Hydrogen is being called the fuel of the future and IEA has projected that hydrogen production from water electrolysis can prevent the 830 million tons of CO2 annually from entering the atmosphere. Moreover, the growing demand for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, green ammonia, green methanol, and other applications is driving the growth of the Water Electrolysis Market.

Market Lifecycle Stage

Water electrolysis is old technology and was first introduced in 1789 by the Dutch merchants Jan Rudolph Deiman and Adriaan Paets van Troostwijk, who used gold electrodes and an electrostatic generator to produce an electrostatic discharge in water. Almost 100 years later in 1888, Russian engineer Dmitry Lachinov developed the first industrial water electrolyzer for producing hydrogen and oxygen. In the mid-1960s, General Electric introduced the proton exchange membrane process for the Gemini Space Program, and it was later adopted for hydrogen production. Currently, there are four types of electrolyzers available in the market: alkaline and polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) already commercialized and anion exchange membrane (AEM) and solid oxide at an early stage of commercialization.

Industrial Impact

The growth of the water electrolysis market is closely tied to the hydrogen and ammonia market. Water electrolysis is one of the clean methods for the production of hydrogen and is highly sustainable as there are no emissions and the feedstock used for hydrogen production is water. The growing demand for green hydrogen and green ammonia are among the major drivers of the growth of the water electrolysis market.

Impact of COVID-19

The outbreak of COVID-19 has caused several delays in manufacturing operations, which resulted in the slowdown of the water electrolysis market. Also, supply chain disruptions have negatively impacted the water electrolysis market. Currently, companies are trying to secure long-term supply contracts with other suppliers, to maintain smooth operations and interrupted supply of water electrolysis systems.

Market Segmentation:

Segmentation 1: by End-Use Application

•    Transportation/Mobility Industry

•    Refining Industry

•    Power and Energy Storage

•    Ammonia Production

•    Methanol Production

•    Other End-Use Applications

Segmentation 2: by Electrolyzer Type

•    Alkaline Electrolyzer

•    Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) Electrolyzer

•    Solid Oxide Electrolyzer Cell (SOEC)

•    Anion Exchange Membrane (AEM) Electrolyzers

The alkaline electrolyzer segment is the largest segment in electrolyzer type and is expected to dominate the market during the forecast period 2022-2031.

Segmentation 3: by Region

•    North America - U.S., Canada, and Mexico

•    Europe - Germany, France, Netherlands, Spain, and Rest-of-Europe

•    China

•    U.K.

•    Asia-Pacific and Japan - Japan, India, South Korea, Australia, and Rest-of-Asia-Pacific and Japan

•    Rest-of-the-World - South America, Middle East and Africa

Europe dominates the water electrolysis market due to the presence of several leading companies, such as Nel ASA, thyssenkrupp AG, ITM Power PLC, and many more.

Recent Developments in the Water Electrolysis Market

•  In June 2022, Bosch announced that it will invest $1.3 billion by 2025 in hydrogen. The company has already invested significantly in fuel cell technology and the company is now planning to leverage its expertise in fuel cell technology to develop electrolyzers with an investment of $600 million by 2030.

•  In June 2022, De Nora Water Technologies and Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC) announced that they have expanded their partnership and had signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for brine mining and water electrolysis research. 

•  In June 2022, Hyundai Engineering & Construction (Hyundai E&C) announced that the Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy has chosen the company for building a water electrolysis-based hydrogen production base project. The company will be responsible for building a base for producing, storing, and transporting more than one ton of hydrogen per day.

•  In May 2022, Frontier Energy Ltd. announced that it has chosen alkaline water electrolysis (AWE) as the preferred electrolysis technology for the production of green hydrogen at the Bristol Springs Solar (BSS) Project south of Perth in Western Australia. The company chose AWE over other water electrolysis technologies due to its low cost and technological robustness.

•  In April 2022, ThyssenKrupp nucera announced that Air Products has selected the company for the supply of its alkaline water electrolysis technology to produce green liquid hydrogen in Casa Grande, Arizona in a 10 metric ton per day facility. 

Demand – Drivers and Limitations

Following are the demand drivers for the water electrolysis market:

•    Increasing Use of Hydrogen in the Petroleum Refining Industry

•    Rising Demand for Green Fertilizers

•    Increasing Government Activities toward Low-Carbon Infrastructure

•    Decreasing Cost of Renewable Energy and Water Electrolysis Technology

The market is expected to face some limitations too due to the following challenges:

•    Expensive Hydrogen Technology

•    High Energy Losses during the Electrolysis Process

Analyst’s Thoughts

According to Shivam Priyadarshi, Principal Analyst, BIS Research, "The water electrolysis market is expected to register continuous growth during the forecast period owing to the growing demand for sustainable energy sources, rising green hydrogen and green ammonia demand, and investment from the government toward green and sustainable technologies. Moreover, growing investment in renewable energy sources and demand for energy storage technologies is also expected to contribute toward the growth of the water electrolysis market during the forecast period.”

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How Can This Report Add Value to an Organisation?

Product/Innovation Strategy: The product segment helps the reader understand the different types of electrolyzers available for deployment and their potential globally. Moreover, the study provides the reader with a detailed understanding of the water electrolysis market by end-use application and by electrolyzer type.

Growth/Marketing Strategy: The water electrolysis market has seen major development by key players operating in the market, such as business expansion, partnership, collaboration, and joint venture. The favored strategy for the companies has been partnerships and joint ventures, to strengthen their position in the water electrolysis market. For instance, in November 2021, Plug Power Inc. announced a joint venture with SK E&S Co., ltd. to open a Gigafactory in South Korea and another joint venture with Fortescue Futureindustries Pty ltd. for a Gigafactory in Australia.

Competitive Strategy: Key players in the water electrolysis market analyzed and profiled in the study involve major water electrolyzer manufacturers. Moreover, a detailed competitive benchmarking of the players operating in the water electrolysis market has been done to help the reader understand how players stack against each other, presenting a clear market landscape. Additionally, comprehensive competitive strategies such as partnerships, agreements, and collaborations will aid the reader in understanding the untapped revenue pockets in the market.

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