Hydrogen Generation Market Size, Share & Trends Report

Hydrogen Generation Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Application (Coal Gasification, Steam Methane Reforming), By Technology, By System (Merchant, Captive), And Segment Forecasts, 2018 - 2025

  • Published Date: Jun, 2018
  • Base Year for Estimate: 2016
  • Report ID: GVR-2-68038-517-5
  • Format: Electronic (PDF)
  • Historical Data: 2014 - 2015
  • Number of Pages: 140

Industry Insights

The hydrogen generation market size was valued at USD 108.1 billion in 2016 and is predicted to exhibit a CAGR of 5.8% by 2025. Shifting trends such as rising focus on cleaner energy and favorable government regulations are encouraging market expansion. Stringent government regulations to control rampant use of fossil fuels, coupled with introduction of gas-based fuel cell vehicles, is anticipated to boost demand for hydrogen over the forecast period.

U.S. hydrogen generation market

Hydrogen is among the most abundantly available elements in our universe. It is present in the atmosphere in a gaseous state, albeit in miniscule concentration - less than one per million by volume. It is commonly produced when natural gas is heated with steam, which, in turn, produces syngas - a mixture of carbon monoxide and hydrogen. Alternately, hydrogen can be produced by electrolyzing water as well.

Demand for clean fuel is projected to witness exponential increase every year, with rising pollution levels. Stringent government regulations to control sulfur content in fuels are expected to drive the market in near future.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), annual production of hydrogen was pegged at over 50 million tons. It can be generated from an extensive range of initial raw materials, including the most commonly used technology like steam reforming of natural gases. This process leads to enormous amounts of greenhouse gas emissions. About 50% of international demand for hydrogen is presently satisfied by steam reforming, close to 30% is fulfilled from naphtha or oil reforming in refinery or industrial off-gases, about 17% is done by coal gasification, and the remaining is done by water electrolysis and other sources.

In agriculture, hydrogen is used to produce ammonia by the Haber process, along with methanol and cyclohexane, which are also used to produce pharmaceuticals and plastic. Hydrodesulphurization of fuels in oil refining process is a catalytic chemical reaction used to reduce sulfur from petroleum products including gasoline or petrol, kerosene, jet fuel, fuel oils, diesel, and natural gas. Desulphurization is used to create fuels including ultra-low-sulfur diesel, with a view to curb sulfur dioxide emission from aircrafts, automotive vehicles, ships, railroad locomotives, and oil or gas power plants, among various other forms of petroleum combustion. 

Technology Insights

Methanol production emerged as the dominant technology segment in the market, with over 39.74% market share, in terms of revenue, in 2016. Methanol has excellent hydrogen carrying capacity and is therefore used for storage in fuel cell production. Methanol can be converted into hydrogen easily by a catalytic process, with the use of a fuel reformer.

Ammonia production is expected to grow at a steady pace in terms of volume, during the forecast period. Traditionally, this technology has large scale penetration owing to easy adoption coupled with affordable prices. Ammonia finds large scale adoption in fertilizer manufacturing processes. Lastly, petroleum refinery was valued at billion and is expected to witness significant growth over the forecast period, owing to growing government regulations to encourage desulphurization of fuels to conserve the environment.

Systems Insights

Captive system includes on-site generation as it is said to negate several problems linked to conveyance and distribution of large volumes of hydrogen required daily. Recently, on-site hydrogen generation in small scale industries has gained more popularity owing to new technologies being offered at affordable costs in comparison to delivered distributed channel. In terms of volume, the segment is expected to expand at a CAGR of 9.2% over the forecast period.

The merchant systems segment was valued at USD 64.6 billion in 2016. Merchants supply hydrogen to the small to medium sized industries at competitive rates, in cylinders, or other carriers. Small to medium sized industries may not necessarily afford setup costs and upkeep of generational facilities. Hence, they opt to buy hydrogen from dealers.

Application Insights

Based on application, the hydrogen generation market can be segregated into coal gasification and steam methane reforming. Coal gasification is slated to be the fastest growing segment in terms of revenue, with a CAGR of 6.8%.

Global hydrogen generation market

Steam methane reforming holds a substantial share in the application segment. This is among the most used hydrogen production processes in U.S. In this method, methane containing raw materials like natural gas is heated to a temperature between 700°C to 1,000°C

Regional Insights

Asia Pacific is expected to dominate the global market in terms of revenue by 2025. Robust economic performance along with high growth rates are projected to cement China’s position as an economic superpower, with large scale investments in Research and Development (R&D) are predicted to enhance market growth. China is announcing considerable changes to its energy regulations and is gradually deviating towards renewable fuels, with a view to restrict carbon footprint and to preserve environmental balance.

The European market for hydrogen generation includes key countries like Spain, U.K., Italy, Germany, and Russia along with other Eastern and Central European countries. In 2016, Europe was the second largest in terms of revenue share. Growing demand for superior quality and reliable supply for various end-user industries, chiefly in the commercial sectors are anticipated to be the primary regional drivers.

Hydrogen Generation Market Share Insights

Industrial gas distributors are focusing on developing newer distribution channels with more efficiency to increase their market penetration and geographical reach. Large corporations with a worldwide presence control substantial volume of business and are concentrated in North America and Europe. Top five global hydrogen generation companies account for over 50% of global volumes and revenues. Notably, U.S. and China have the distinction for controlling significant manufacturing and distribution volumes.

Companies in the market for hydrogen generation closely monitor industry developments and adopt current trends to formulate new business strategies and to consolidate their market position. Leading companies are heavily investing in R&D and are introducing new technologies and improved distribution channels to boost their sales.

Report Scope



Base year for estimation


Actual/Historical data

2014 and 2015

Forecast period

2017 - 2025

Market representation

Volume in Million metric tons, Revenue in USD Billion, and CAGR from 2017 to 2025

Regional scope

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

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, competitive landscape, growth factors, and trends

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Segments Covered in the Report:

This report forecasts revenue growth at global, regional, and country levels, and provides an analysis on latest industry trends and opportunities in each of the sub-segments from 2014 to 2025. For the purpose of this study, Grand View Research has segmented the global hydrogen generation market report on the basis of technology, application, system, and region:

  • Technology Outlook (Volume, Million Metric Tons; Revenue, USD Billion, 2014 - 2025)

    • Methanol Production

    • Ammonia Production

    • Petroleum Refining

  • Application Outlook (Volume, Million Metric Tons; Revenue, USD Billion, 2014 - 2025)

    • Coal Gasification

    • Steam Methane Reforming

  • Systems Outlook (Volume, Million Metric Tons; Revenue, USD Billion, 2014 - 2025)

    • Merchant

    • Captive

  • Regional Outlook (Volume, Million Metric Tons; Revenue, USD Billion, 2014 - 2025)

    • North America

      • U.S.

      • Canada

      • Mexico

    • Europe

      • Germany

      • Russia

      • 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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