Hydrogen Investment To Spur Breakbulk Demand

DNV GL Points to Increasing Competitiveness of Sector

Rising demand for hydrogen energy points to the “increasing competitiveness” of industrial-scale projects, according to standards agency DNV GL, driving new demand for breakbulk transport.

“Governments worldwide are showing increasing interest in hydrogen as a clean energy carrier” to complement electricity in decarbonizing national energy systems, said Sarah Kimpton, innovation lead at DNV GL.

“The narrative has shifted from one of technology development to market activation. This involves the transition from emerging technologies to bankable assets, similar to what has recently been observed in the solar photovoltaic industry,” independent research agency, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization states.

UK R&D Makes Progress

The UK government has been instrumental in supporting research to date with a roadmap that views conversion of natural gas networks to 100 percent hydrogen as “one of the large-scale credible options” for decarbonization.

“We have consulted the industry and are talking to consumers about what it means. The UK government is looking at the networks being repurposed to be 100 percent hydrogen or as close as possible to zero carbon by 2050,” Kimpton explains.

Research has been spurred on by the presence of technology startups such as ITM Power, which manufactures integrated hydrogen solutions, as well as government-funded initiatives such as H21 North of England researching and testing the distribution of hydrogen in the country’s existing natural gas networks.

Norway Backs Hydrogen Transport                                                   

DNV GL notes that Norway’s government is also creating a national strategy for hydrogen technology R&D, but with a focus on transport rather than domestic heating, providing new opportunities for breakbulk growth in the construction of fuelling infrastructure.

“Hydrogen can be competitive for heavy trucks and long distance buses, and also for passenger trains on railroads that are not electrified. However, national and local authorities could stimulate its use further through incentives for considering and developing lower-carbon concepts involving hydrogen,” said Jørg Aarnes, senior principal engineer at DNV GL.

15 Million Homes by 2050

Current forecasts from DNV GL suggest that conversion should begin in 2028, with expansion across 3.7 million properties over the following seven years.  A further six-phase rollout could see 12 million more homes converted to hydrogen by 2050.

 DNV GL is the world's largest classification society responsible for 13,175 vessels and mobile offshore units. Headquartered in Bærum in Norway the organization also provides technical consultancy to the energy and transport sectors.