Hydrogen Generation Market Size, Share & Trends Report

Hydrogen Generation Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Technology (Coal Gasification, Steam Methane Reforming), By Systems (Merchant, Captive), By Application, And Segment Forecasts, 2020 - 2027

  • Published Date: Feb, 2020
  • Base Year for Estimate: 2019
  • Report ID: GVR-2-68038-517-5
  • Format: Electronic (PDF)
  • Historical Data: 2016 - 2018
  • Number of Pages: 121

Report Overview

The global hydrogen generation market size was valued at USD 117.49 billion in 2019 and is anticipated to record a revenue-based CAGR of 4.32% over the forecast period. The demand for clean and green fuel is expected to witness an exponential increase in the coming years, with rising pollution levels coupled with growing government regulations to control and curb the sulfur content in fuels. This factor is expected to drive the market.

The increasing application of hydrogen in various industries is anticipated to be the major driving factor. Hydrogen is produced using numerous resources like natural gas, biomass, coal, and various other renewable and non-renewable energy sources. Currently, natural gas is the primary source of hydrogen production, and steam methane reformers using natural gas are majorly used for production. However, in recent years, the adoption of newer technologies such as electrolytic and pyrolysis production is encouraged.

U.S. hydrogen generation market

The U.S. is among the early adopters of clean energy solutions in the world for sectors such as power generation, manufacturing, and transportation. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and Department of Transportation (DOT) introduced a Hydrogen Posture Plan in December 2006. The aim of this plan was to enhance R&D and to validate technologies that can be employed for setting up hydrogen infrastructure. Moreover, this plan provided deliverables set by the federal government to support the development of hydrogen infrastructure in the country. The plan was developed in accordance with the National Hydrogen Energy Vision and Roadmap.

Hydrogen producers in the U.S. are looking to expand their geographical reach and target countries like Vietnam, Indonesia, South Africa, and other developing nations, to boost revenue. U.S. based market players like Praxair Inc. and Air Liquide are looking to expand their operations across the countries with increasing demand for hydrogen, as part of their strategic growth plans. North America's hydrogen generation market has been gaining momentum for several years, at a brisk pace with contributions from each application and technology. The application of hydrogen in methanol production and ammonia production is growing at a high rate in the country.

Technology Insights

Steam methane reforming emerged as the dominant technology segment, with over 67.79% market share, in terms of revenue in 2019. Steam methane reforming is a method of producing hydrogen, along with other gases including carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide. It is a mature and advanced technology in hydrogen generation. The growing demand across the globe is a crucial driving factor for the segment, as steam methane reforming is the most economical method for hydrogen generation. Other factors driving the growth include operational benefits, such as high conversion efficiency associated with the steam methane reforming process.

Coal gasification technology accounted for the second-largest market share in 2019 and is projected to expand at the highest CAGR during the forecast period. Coal gasification, which uses coal as a raw material for producing hydrogen, has been in practice for nearly two centuries; moreover, is it also recognized as mature technology like steam methane reforming.

System Insights

Merchant emerged as the dominant segment, in terms of revenue in 2019. However, the captive systems segment is expected to expand at the highest CAGR in terms of revenue, during the forecast period. Socio-economically developing regions, particularly North America and Europe, have a large-scale penetration of this technology given the ease of adoption. The captive generation of hydrogen is defined as an on-site generation that abolishes several problems linked to the conveyance and distribution of hydrogen. Therefore, the market is expected to grow substantially. For small-scale industries, on-site generation of hydrogen has gained popularity owing to new technologies being offered at reasonable costs in comparison to delivered distributed channels.

Merchant-based hydrogen generation means hydrogen is produced at a central production facility and is transported and sold to a consumer by a bulk tank, pipeline, or cylinder truck. In many countries such as the U.S., Canada, and Russia, there is an extensive existing natural gas pipeline network that could be used to transport and distribute hydrogen. In emerging economies of Asia Pacific, new infrastructure is being developed, with dedicated pipeline and shipping networks potentially allowing large-scale overseas hydrogen transport.

Application Insights

Based on the application, the hydrogen generation market has been segmented into methanol production, ammonia production, and petroleum refinery. Methanol production emerged as the dominant segment in terms of revenue in 2019 and is projected to expand at the fastest CAGR during the forecast period. Methanol is recognized as a useful chemical product and a promising building block for obtaining more complex chemical compounds, such as methyl tertiary butyl ether, acetic acid, dimethyl ether, methylamine, and others. Methanol is the simplest alcohol, appearing as a colorless liquid and with a distinctive smell, and can be produced by converting CO2 and H2, with the further benefit of significantly reducing CO2 emissions.

Global hydrogen generation market

Ammonia production accounted for the second-largest market share in the application segment in 2019. A large quantity of hydrogen produced is consumed in ammonia plants. Typically, hydrogen is produced on-site at ammonia plants from a fossil fuel feedstock. Traditionally, this application has large scale penetration owing to easy adoption coupled with affordable prices. Ammonia finds large scale adoption in the manufacturing process of fertilizers. Lastly, petroleum refinery accounted for the third-highest market share and is expected to witness significant growth over the forecast period, owing to growing government regulations to encourage the desulfurization of fuels to conserve the environment.

Regional Insights

In 2019, Asia Pacific was ranked the largest in terms of revenue, accounting for 32.39% market share. The trend is expected to continue during the forecast period. Robust economic performance along with large scale investments in R&D in countries such as China, Japan, South Korea, India, and Australia is predicted to fuel the growth. China is undertaking massive changes in the fuel and petroleum industry, in order to overcome numerous challenges including pollution and economic disparity between urban and rural populations. Factors, such as rising air pollution and increasing sulfur content in the environment are also posing challenges to the nation. Further, the presence of a high number of refineries in major countries, such as China and India, is projected to drive the utilization of hydrogen generation. Governments in some of the countries, such as Japan and Australia, are evaluating greener and cleaner technologies, which is expected to drive the growth.

Hydrogen Generation Market Share Insights

Air Liquide, Linde, Messer, Hydrogenics, Inox, and Air Products and Chemicals are some of the distinguished players operating in the market. These players control a substantial revenue share through domestic and international sales. Some of these international companies have deals with local players to provide after-sales services at affordable rates. Large corporations have a wide product portfolio through carefully curated channels and integrated retailers. These players adopt various organic and inorganic growth strategies to expand their product portfolio and geographical reach.

In May 2018, Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas), the Stars Corp., and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) introduced a brand new solar-powered hydrogen generation system. This system harnesses sunlight to convert water and natural gas into hydrogen and captures the carbon dioxide to avoid carbon emissions.

Report Scope



Base year for estimation


Actual estimates/Historical data

2016 - 2018

Forecast period

2020 - 2027

Market representation

Volume in million metric tons & revenue in USD Billion and CAGR from 2020 to 2027

Regional scope

North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa and Central & South America

Country scope

U.S., Canada, Mexico, U.K., Germany, Italy, Russia, Spain, France, China, India, Japan, South Korea, Australia, Brazil, Colombia, Paraguay, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Egypt, and UAE

Report coverage

Volume forecast, Revenue forecast, company share, competitive landscape, and growth factors and trends

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Segments Covered in the Report

This report forecasts revenue and volume growth at global, regional, and country levels, and provides an analysis of the latest industry trends and opportunities in each of the sub-segments from 2016 to 2027. For the purpose of this study, Grand View Research has segmented the global hydrogen generation market report based on technology, system type, application, and region:

  • Technology Outlook (Volume, Million metric tons; Revenue, USD Billion, 2016 - 2027)

    • Coal Gasification

    • Steam Methane Reforming

    • Others

  • Application Outlook (Volume, Million metric tons; Revenue, USD Billion, 2016 - 2027)

    • Methanol Production

    • Ammonia Production

    • Petroleum Refining

  • Systems Outlook (Volume, Million metric tons; Revenue, USD Billion, 2016 - 2027)

    • Merchant

    • Captive

  • Regional Outlook (Volume, Million metric tons; Revenue, USD Billion, 2016 - 2027)

    • North America

      • The U.S.

      • Canada

      • Mexico

    • Europe

      • Germany

      • Russia

      • The U.K.

      • Spain

      • Italy

      • France

    • Asia Pacific

      • China

      • Japan

      • South Korea

      • India

      • Australia

    • Central & South America

      • Brazil

      • Paraguay

      • Colombia

    • Middle East and Africa

      • UAE

      • South Africa

      • Egypt

      • Saudi Arabia

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