Opportunities for Clean Energy Investors in the Hydrogen Economy

05 Apr 2024

The global push towards a greener future has illuminated various pathways for achieving sustainability and environmental preservation. Among these, the hydrogen economy stands out as a beacon of potential, offering a promising avenue for clean energy investors. Hydrogen, the most abundant element in the universe, presents a versatile and clean alternative to fossil fuels, capable of revolutionizing industries from transportation to manufacturing, and from power generation to storage.  

As nations and corporations alike strive to meet ambitious carbon neutrality goals, the demand for clean, reliable, and scalable energy solutions has never been higher. 

This article aims to explore the burgeoning opportunities within the hydrogen economy for clean energy investors, delving into the technological advancements, regulatory frameworks, and market dynamics that are shaping this vibrant landscape.  

Hydrogen Economy: Future Magnet for Investors 

Many emerging economies consider the path to industrialization as a crucial indicator of economic progress and prosperity. This path often entails significant investments in major infrastructure projects and heavy industries, such as steel and cement manufacturing, as well as the production of fertilizers, chemicals, and fuels for shipping and aviation.  

In response, policies and regulations like Europe's "Green Deal" or the United States' Inflation Reduction Act are designed to offer policy and financial motivations for the decarbonization of these significant and polluting sectors. For developed nations, the strategy involves modernizing existing industrial operations to utilize low carbon energy sources and cultivating new eco-friendly industrial areas. The emphasis is on ensuring a "safe transition" to greener practices that maintain the current standard of industrial achievement without compromise.  

While green hydrogen currently occupies a small slice of the global energy landscape, its contribution to reducing emissions is disproportionately large. For nations lacking fossil fuel resources, green hydrogen offers a pathway to enhanced energy independence alongside diminished carbon outputs.  

According to BIS Research report, the global market for green hydrogen was valued at $828.2 million in 2023. Projected to expand at a CAGR of 67.19% from 2023 to 2033, it is anticipated to surge to $141.29 billion by the end of the forecast period.  

The anticipated growth in the green hydrogen sector is expected to be propelled by the decreasing costs of variable renewable energy (VRE) electricity, global commitments to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050, and a rising recognition of the benefits of green hydrogen.   

Investment and Partnering Opportunity in White Hydrogen Market 

The market for white hydrogen is rising as a revolutionary influence within the energy industry, presenting a cleaner substitute to conventional energy sources. White hydrogen stands out due to its unique method of production, utilizing sophisticated technologies that differentiate it from traditional approaches to hydrogen generation.  

White Hydrogen technology offers a scalable, modular, and highly efficient method for producing hydrogen on-site at a low cost and with zero carbon emissions. Its distinct competitive edge in the renewable energy sector positions it as an attractive investment prospect for individuals looking to engage in the expanding global hydrogen market.  

Demand - Drivers and Limitations 

The following are the demand drivers for the white hydrogen market: 

• Increase in R&D and awareness regarding white hydrogen 
• Rise in inclination toward sustainable resources over conventional 
• White hydrogen having potential for cost competitiveness 

The following are the limitations of the white hydrogen market: 

• Underdeveloped white hydrogen infrastructure 
• Potentially sizable white hydrogen reserves in Earth's crust largely untapped 

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Key Market Players and Competition Synopsis 

The companies that are profiled have been selected based on inputs gathered from primary experts and analyzing company coverage, product portfolio, and regional presence. 

Some of the prominent names in this market are: 

•  Research Institutes 
     o    National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) 
     o    U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) 
     o    National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) 
     o    International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) 
•  Exploration and Extraction Companies 
     o    Helios 
     o    Natural Hydrogen Energy LLC 
     o    Koloma 
     o    Hydroma Inc. 
     o    H2Au 
     o    La Francaise de l Energie SA 
     o    Gold Hydrogen Limited 
     o    HyTerra 
•  Upstream Service Providers 
     o    Schlumberger 
     o    CGG 
     o    Halliburton 
     o    Baker Hughes 
     o    Weatherford  
     o    TechnipFMC plc 
•  Service and Equipment Companies 
     o    SOLEXPERTS AG 
     o    Chapman Hydrogen and Petroleum Engineering Ltd. 
•  Gas Players 
     o    BP p.l.c.  
     o    Shell 
     o    Eni 
     o    Equinor ASA 
•    Transmission System Operators 
     o    Gasunie 
     o    50Hertz  
     o    GRTgaz 
     o    Enagás S.A. 
•  Potential Companies 
     o    Repsol 
     o    ENGIE 
     o    TotalEnergies 

Hydrogen to be the Next $1 Trillion Investment Market 

The momentum to advance the hydrogen economy has been significantly boosted by Russia's invasion of Ukraine, coupled with the concerted efforts of governments and investors to fund and capitalize on the revolution in 'clean' hydrogen.  

The latest insights from the Hydrogen Council and McKinsey have highlighted that 680 large-scale hydrogen projects are in the pipeline, representing an investment of $240 billion through to 2030. This marks a 50% increase since November 2021. The report emphasizes that to meet the net-zero targets by 2050, investment commitments need to surge to $700 billion by 2030. 

Hydrogen presents a diverse range of investment opportunities, from private equity and venture capital funding in fuel cell technologies to infrastructure developments such as storage hubs and refueling stations. The market for fuel cells alone is expected to expand from $3.36 billion in 2021 to $28.95 billion by 2028.   


A significant challenge with using hydrogen as a fuel source is its scarcity in forms that are readily extractable, unlike natural gas. While hydrogen can be derived from multiple sources, most production methods currently release greenhouse gases. Additionally, hydrogen has not been produced on a scale that allows it to compete economically with fossil fuels. 

Nonetheless, this situation is poised for change soon. Numerous companies are diligently striving to unlock the vast potential of hydrogen as a potentially emission-free fuel source.