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Global energy transition update: Active H2 projects and electrolyzer capacity

Editorial Comment

T. CAMPBELL, Managing Editor

As another new year begins, the global energy transition will continue to progress. According to Gulf Energy Information’s Global Energy Infrastructure (GEI) database, there are 207 active blue hydrogen (H2) projects around the world, about a third of which are in North America. Active green H2 projects grew significantly in 2023, up to 1,180, according to the GEI database, compared to 862 in January 2023. This is an increase of about 37%; however, only 229 projects have begun operations.

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), more than one-quarter of carbon dioxide (CO2) capture capacity under development involves H2 or ammonia production across a range of applications, including dedicated production, refineries, fertilizer, and iron and steel.1 The IEA predicts that carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) capacity will increase to 8 MMtpy by 2030.

Electrolyzers are the key to the success of green H2 facilities. According to the IEA, alkaline electrolyzers accounted for 60% of installed capacity in 2022, followed by proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolyzers (30%). Solid oxide electrolyzers had the least installed capacity at less than 1%.1 This made alkaline the leading electrolyzer utilized by a significant margin. By December 2023, alkaline electrolyzer market share increased to 80%, with PEM's market share falling to 20%, according to the Hydrogen Council.2

The report also highlighted the global cumulative installed electrolysis capacity of 1,100 megawatts (MW) in October 2023, an increase of nearly 60% from 2022 (700 MW). Of the 1,100 MW of electrolysis capacity, 610 MW is in China, followed by Europe (220 MW) and North America (120 MW); the remaining 150 MW is scattered worldwide.2

Other methods of H2 production are still slowly progressing but have not yet achieved widespread use. Turquoise H2 produced from natural gas using pyrolysis technologyonly has eight active projects, two of which are operating. White H2H2 that occurs naturally in geological formationshas six proposed projects, and pink H2produced using nuclear energyis slightly more popular with 13 active projects.H2T

1 IEA, “Global hydrogen review 2023,” September 2023, online: 


2 Hydrogen Council and McKinsey & Company “Hydrogen Insights December 2023,” December 2023, online: