Green Hydrogen is the new market, a new paradigm, and Australia is fundamentally ideal for solar energy. And Hydrogen gives you the best form of storage of that energy. Hydrogen is the fastest growing market on planet earth and Australia is in pole position.

The Hydrogen industry heading for a tipping point headed for US$11 trillion, according to the Bank of America). Following decades of false starts, Hydrogen production is clearly set for major growth phase in the coming decade. What does that mean? It means investors and policymakers have pressed the go button. Here are 10 countries taking big steps as leaders in the Hydrogen renewable energy space.

Hydrogen Systems Australia green hydrogen

Australia: the green machine begins

Never before has our country been better placed to penetrate the Green Hydrogen market space and lead the charge in replacing fossil fuel exports with an alternative created via our large continent’s abundance of renewable energy resources, and also in driving a sustainable future by creating our own Hydrogen for energy security, storage, off-grid solutions and mobility.

Chief Scientist Dr Alan Finkel officially heralded the arrival of the Green Hydrogen revolution in 2019 with the roll out of our National Hydrogen Strategy. It hasn’t taken long for companies to realise it’s all systems go. For example, only last year Siemens began the process of developing a 5-gigawatt combined solar and wind project aimed at powering renewable Hydrogen production in WA. Export potential is enormous. Destinations for Australian Green Hydrogen exports include Japan and South Korea to name a few. Meanwhile, South Australia has approved a plan to build a Green Hydrogen production facility near Adelaide, which would provide Hydrogen for injection into the gas pipeline grid and provide exports to Asia.

As Brian Power, Hydrogen Systems Australia’s Executive Director, points out: “It (Green Hydrogen) is the new market, a new paradigm, and Australia, the continent, is fundamentally ideal for solar energy. And Hydrogen gives you the best form of storage of that energy… Hydrogen is the fastest growing market on planet earth and Australia is in pole position.”

Germany hydrogen

The German Government agreed on a plan to spend $9billion (Euro) earmarked for the project. Germany sees Hydrogen being used in ‘various applications, including transport, and to decarbonize industry’.

Germany: 9 billion euro commitment

Germany is hellbent on becoming a global leader in Hydrogen technologies. The government has unleashed a National Hydrogen Strategy to fulfil these ambitions including a $9 billion (Euro) investment. As part of its stimulus package, Germany intends to expand the role of Green Hydrogen to help end the country’s reliance on coal. The government agreed on a plan on how to spend the $9 billion (Euro)  earmarked for the project. Germany sees Hydrogen being used in “various applications, including transport and to decarbonize industry,” according Martin Hablutzel, head of strategy at Siemens in Australia. The country, already a front- runner in Hydrogen technology development, is aiming to up its game with plans for 20 research labs, with a total budget of $100 million (Euro) being unveiled over the summer.

“Hydrogen is one of the hottest topics in the energy transition in the country at the moment,” Inga Posch, managing director at FNB Gas, the federation of Germany’s gas network operators, told Bloomberg in August 2020. According to the strategy, “only Hydrogen produced on the basis of renewable energies (‘green’ Hydrogen) is sustainable in the long term.”

In other news, Linde unveiled plans in January 2021 for a new proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolyser plant in Germany that the company says will produce enough Green Hydrogen to fuel approximately 600 fuel cell buses a year – and it’s expected be operational in the second half of 2022.

The new 24MW electrolyser, which Linde claims will be the world’s largest, will produce Green Hydrogen to supply Linde’s industrial customers through the company’s existing pipeline network. Liquefied Green Hydrogen will also be distributed to refuelling stations and other industrial customers in the region, Linde said in a statement, adding that the total amount of Green Hydrogen being produced can fuel approximately 600 fuel cell buses.

Hydrogen Japan

Japan: leading the push in Asia

Japan is arguably Green Hydrogen’s most advanced market worldwide, especially with respect to importing Hydrogen for domestic applications such as transport. Japan is leading the energy push in Asia and at the moment the main focus is on the mobility sector, the marine application sector and the Hydrogen production sector. The country leads the way in Hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle development thanks to the efforts of auto makers such as Toyota and Honda. And policymakers are keen to stimulate Green Hydrogen as an alternative to liquefied natural gas, which Japan imports more of than any other country.

Japan will boost the amount of power it plans to generate using Hydrogen, looking to burn about 10 million tons annually by 2030, roughly equivalent to the output of more than 30 nuclear reactors. The new target is being set to allow Japan to reach zero net carbon emissions by 2050, a goal set by Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga in October.

While the plan is to utilize solar and wind energy to reduce the country’s carbon footprint, the output of those sources varies with the weather, so existing power plants would still be needed. If instead non carbon-emitting Hydrogen can be used as fuel, greenhouse gas emissions can be cut even further. In addition, excess power generated from renewable sources when weather conditions are optimal can be used to produce stores of Hydrogen.

The effort will be supported by 2 trillion yen ($19.2 billion) in new funding as well as tax incentives for targeted capital spending. It has also announced a global action plan to set up 10,000 refuelling stations over the next decade. In other recent news, nine Japanese firms formed a Japan Hydrogen

Association in early December 2020, aiming to develop a strategic value chain for Hydrogen and strengthen global partnerships in the sector.

The consortium includes LPG firm Iwatani, utility Kansai Electric Power, refiner Eneos, engineering firm Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI), steelmaker Kobe Steel, Toyota, electronics and engineering firm Toshiba, trading firm Mitui and financial services firm Sumitomo Mitsui Financial.

South Korea hydrogen

South Korea: ambitious roll out plans

South Korea has a clear goal to become a leader in the development of Hydrogen as an alternative energy source.

In developing an ecosystem for a Hydrogen economy, South Korea is focused on increasing the production and use of Hydrogen vehicles, establishing an ecosystem for the production and distribution of Hydrogen and related technologies, and expanding the production of fuel cells.

The government’s vision has the backing of key industrial firms, most importantly the Hyundai Motors Group which plans on investing 7.6 trillion won ($6.7 billion) under its “FCEV Vision 2030” and is part of the HyNet consortium to build 100 new Hydrogen refuelling stations in South Korea by 2022. If South Korea’s vision is successful, it expects Hydrogen to account for 5% of its projected power consumption in 2040, to see its economy grow by 43 trillion won, 420,000 new jobs created, and significant reductions in both fine dust and greenhouse gas emission.

South Korea’s ambitious Hydrogen rollout plans, which include getting 850,000 fuel-cell vehicles on the road by 2030, up from 3000 last year. The government is also planning to hand out $1.8 billion in vehicle and refuelling station subsidies.

Norway hydrogen

Norway: setting clear targets for hydrogen

Norway, a world leader in the Hydrogen play, has vast potential to create Hydrogen from hydropower and is pioneering the use of fuel cells in ferries

Norway Minister of Petroleum and Energy, Tina Bru, said at the Norwegian Hydrogen Conference in Oslo in 2020: “I see Hydrogen as a story of hope. A hope for a new world with low emissions. A hope for a disruptive change. A hope for new industry and new jobs within a green future. And I share these hopes.”

The Norwegian government has set a target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 90 to 95 percent compared with 1990-levels by 2050 as well. The use of clean Hydrogen will contribute to Norway reducing its emissions and reaching climate targets while at the same time creating new green jobs.

Nel, a global, dedicated Hydrogen company, delivering optimal solutions to produce, store and distribute Hydrogen from renewable energy, recently flexed its muscle when it bought US-based Proton in 2018.

Nel is also building one of the world’s largest fully automated electrolyser manufacturing plant with a capacity of 360 MW/year. In other Norway Hydrogen announcements, a Danish-Norwegian project was announced in December 2020, aimed at building what will be the world’s largest and most powerful Hydrogen-fuelled ferry. The plan is to start operating a Copenhagen-Oslo service by 2027.

Canada hydrogen

Canada: hydrogen is a key part in net-zero plan

Canada’s government released its much-anticipated Hydrogen Strategy for Canada which sets an ambitious framework to cement Hydrogen as a key part of Canada’s path to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 and make Canada a global leader in Hydrogen technologies.

Canada sees potential in future Green Hydrogen markets, not just as a producer of the gas, but also as a manufacturer of fuel cells.

Natural Resources Canada, a federal department, released a paper last year which states: “Based on collaboration and investments made by both the public and private sectors in past decades, Canada has a Hydrogen and fuel-cell sector that thrives in export markets and that includes global leaders Ballard Power Systems and Hydrogenics.”

Speaking of which, Ballard Power Systems made headlines last
year when Chinese conglomerate Weichai Power invested $163million, buying a 19.9 percent stake in the business. And Hydrogenics, innovators in electrolyser tech, was recently purchased by Cummins – yet another significant signal that the big companies are getting serious about Hydrogen and building their assets and enhancing their resources for a big tilt at market share.

China hydrogen buses

China: 1 million fuel cell vehicles by 2030

Beijing sees Green Hydrogen as a way of decarbonizing transportation. The country’s targets include 5000 fuel-cell vehicles by 2020 and 1 million by 2030.

There are also tax exemptions for Hydrogen vehicles. And Wuhan, the capital of Hubei in central China (more famous for its connection with COVID) is being styled as a Hydrogen city with up to 100 fuelling stations for 5000 fuel-cell vehicles by 2025. There are also targets to have up to 100 manufacturers in the greater Wuhan area that are manufacturing components for fuel cells or other elements of the Hydrogen economy.

Chinese coal miner Baofeng Energy has commenced construction of what it says will be the world’s largest solar-powered Hydrogen plant, being built in the Ningxia Hui autonomous region of northwest China. The Asian giant should have a crucial role in the development of a global Hydrogen economy, with its massive demand for decarbonization technologies likely to drive large-scale deployments that will help cut costs around the world, according to oil major Shell.

The first China project will see Hydrogen refuelling stations established in Zhangjiakou City, which will host part of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. The city is rolling out 1000 Hydrogen trucks and buses to support the logistical effort of hosting the games.

The new joint venture between Shell China and the authorities in Zhangjiakou City will build a 20-megawatt electrolyser as well the refuelling stations.

France Hydrogen

France: big on hydrogen-powered vehicles

The French government presented a national Hydrogen strategy that provides for an investment of 7.2 billion euros by 2030 and a Hydrogen production capacity of 6.5GW by 2030.

The development of Hydrogen-powered vehicles such as trucks, garbage trucks, trains and – in the long term – aeroplanes is high on the agenda. The actions highlighted in this strategy for 2020-2023 correspond to the main Hydrogen market trends.

The aim is to develop a French electrolysis sector to decarbonize industry, to develop heavy mobility using low-carbon Hydrogen, and to support research, innovation and skills development in order to foster the uses of tomorrow.

United Kingdom hydrogen

United Kingdom: blessed with offshore wind

Looking increasingly isolated from trading partners in Europe, yet blessed with one of the world’s top offshore wind markets, the UK is looking to renewable Hydrogen as a way to reduce gas imports and help decarbonize the heating sector at the same time.

Recently the UK government unveiled a £12 billion (US$15 billion) plan to use 4 gigawatts of offshore wind for renewable Hydrogen production in the early 2030s.

Meanwhile, UK Hydrogen interests have been attracting international attention, with the chemicals giant Linde recently paying £38 million (US$46 million) for a 20 percent stake in listed technology developer ITM Power.

The UK government has set a plan to publish a Hydrogen Strategy early 2021, which it hopes can position the UK as a global leader in the production and use of clean Green Hydrogen.

Plug Play United States

United States: Hydrogen here we come

With Green Hydrogen experiencing a global resurgence and being identified as the clean energy source that could help bring the world to net-zero emissions in the coming decades, America may be well behind other nations in renewable energies focus and surge, but a Hydrogen future is tipped to ramp up significantly with
new President Joe Biden’s green goals at the forefront (Biden, after his inauguration, immediately re-committed the United States to The Paris Agreement).

Hydrogen was once touted in the US during President George W. Bush’s first term when it was nicknamed the “freedom fuel”.

But now, President Joe Biden has promised that the US will be able to access Green Hydrogen at the same cost as conventional Hydrogen within a decade as part of his clean energy plan. Biden clearly has sweeping plans for a clean energy revolution.

While the US as a whole barely merits a mention in terms of Green Hydrogen development, one state, California, is indeed racing to become a world-leading market.

Plug Power has merged with Giner, raising US$5 billion dollars with a GigaFactory launching mid 2021. California’s interest in Hydrogen is driven partly by aggressive decarbonization targets, including phasing out all diesel or natural-gas-powered buses by 2040.


At Hydrogen Systems Australia, our goal is to help create a cleaner planet with a greener approach to renewable energy production and needs. Our foundations are based on Lean Engineering and manufacturing principles, continuous improvement, as well as on highly collaborative relationships with suppliers, business partners, governments and academia to ensure our solutions always meet our customers’ needs. To chat more with us about hydrogen, send us an email or call: +61 407 802 424.




Scott Podmore

About Scott Podmore

Scott Podmore is an Australian media specialist, award-winning journalist and editor, writer, photographer, publisher, videographer/producer and three-time bestselling author who is also passionate about sustainability.