According to a new report from Pike Research, the number of hydrogen refueling stations worldwide is going to explode over the next decade.
According to the report, the number of hydrogen fueling stations for cars, buses and forklifts will surpass 5,200 by 2020, up from just 200 stations in 2010.
Pike also believes annual investment in hydrogen stations will reach $1.6 billion by 2020, with a cumulative 10-year investment totaling $8.4 billion. The increased use of hydrogen as a fuel will also spur yearly demand for this fuel from approximately 775,000 kilograms (kg) in 2010 to 418 million kg by 2020.
“Fuel cells” use hydrogen to create electricity which in turn provides propulsion power while emitting just water vapor as exhaust, the firm noted, and Pike’s analysis indicates that forklifts will be the largest driver of hydrogen fuel demand by 2020, representing 36% of the total market by that time.
Other large application categories include light-duty vehicles, which will consume 33% of total hydrogen supply, and uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) for stationary power, which will represent 27% of the total. Meanwhile, fuel cell powered buses and scooters will each be a relatively small percentage of total hydrogen demand, Pike’s report said.