For many years practitioners in the hydrogen energy and fuel cell industry in China concentrated on downstream, end-use applications, such as fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV), but ever since the pandemic the industry’s focus has shifted towards upstream hydrogen generation.
This focus has prompted a rebalancing of investment away from FCEV development and towards hydrogen production technologies, including carbon capture and storage (CCS) for steam methane reforming (SMR) and coal gasification as well as electrolysis of water to produce hydrogen and oxygen.
Electrolysers may ultimately become an important technology for hydrogen generation. The localisation of electrolyser production, therefore, is an important question for countries with national hydrogen strategies. Currently, about one-third of global electrolyser manufacturing capacity is based in the EU with a second third in China and a final third in the US.
Industry veterans, especially in western countries, have recently asked if the global electrolyser industry will follow the trend set by solar panels, with R&D located in Europe and production located in China.
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