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Waste to Hydrogen Market size is expected to witness unprecedented growth between 2023 and 2032. An increased emphasis on minimizing the environmental impact and laying the foundation of a carbon-neutral economy will favor industry growth during the forecast period.
Waste has not only emerged as an environmental concern but has also come up as a leading contributor to economic loss. According to the World Bank statistics, the world generates an estimated 2.01 billion tonnes of municipal solid waste each year, with about 33% of this waste not managed in an environmentally healthy manner. Notably, these numbers are predicted to reach 3.40 billion tonnes by 2050. Similarly, the European Environment Agency report claims that Europeans, on average, produce 481 kgs of municipal waste annually.
These alarming estimates call for efficient waste management solutions to deal with the growing environmental concerns, limit the carbon footprint of energy production, and minimize the amount of waste generation. This, in turn, has prompted organizations globally to embark on revolutionary projects aimed at generating green hydrogen leveraging proprietary technologies and using waste as a feedstock for producing energy while capturing and commercializing carbon dioxide, achieving carbon neutrality.
For instance, the Waste2H2 project rolled out in January 2021 and funded by the European Union strives to concentrate its research on hydrogen as a sustainable energy vector and an illustration of waste valorization in a circular economy. The project seeks to strengthen the technological and scientific capability of the Polytechnic Institute of Portalegre, Portugal in thermal gasification syngas purification and cleaning for producing hydrogen.
Another factor largely contributing to the proliferation of the waste to hydrogen market is the escalating investments in alternative power generation technologies, as hydrogen depicts enormous potential in making the production of raw materials more sustainable. Citing an instance, in January 2023, the EU Innovation Fund granted an investment worth €108 million (~USD 116 million) to FUREC, an RWE waste-to-hydrogen project. The grant affirmation from the EU Innovation Fund demonstrates and emphasizes that RWE can significantly contribute to the decarbonization of the economy.
This apart, the accelerating efforts toward mitigating the ongoing climate change and an increased focus on accentuating the utilization of renewable energy sources will further strengthen the waste to hydrogen market outlook. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. has an estimated 40,000 waste treatment facilities in the country that can be altered to generate hydrogen.
Additionally, the Russia-Ukraine conflict will further have a positive influence on the waste to hydrogen market. The war has severely damaged the energy systems in Ukraine. Besides, soaring gas prices caused by the sanctions imposed on Russia have resulted in an uptick in the levelized cost of hydrogen produced from fossil and favored the escalation of investments in more clean hydrogen assets, favoring the business growth.
Asia Pacific waste to hydrogen market is set to record remarkable growth attributed to rising environmental concerns and an increased cognizance of the environmental benefits of using clean energy sources. Countries such as India have been fulfilling their commitment toward rational utilization of national resources regarding energy security. Regional governments have been undertaking new initiatives, schemes, and policies to unleash the potential of green hydrogen while boosting its demand.
To that end, in December 2022, Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) took an innovative step toward eliminating the waste generated in the city and partnered with The Green Billions (TGBL) to manage its waste and convert it into usable green hydrogen. Such initiatives will further bolster the adoption of waste-to-hydrogen technology in the near future.
Driven by the enormous potential of hydrogen as an alternative fuel, several companies are making their foray into the global waste to hydrogen market to introduce new techniques and solutions to pave the way for a clean economy.
For instance, in March 2023, Accelera™ by Cummins, a business domain of Cummins Inc., announced supplying a 90-megawatt PEM (proton exchange membrane) electrolyzer system for the Varennes Carbon Recycling (a consortium between Suncor, Proman, and Shell) plant located in Quebec, Canada. The move is seen as a crucial step toward enhancing the green hydrogen economy in North America. Reportedly, the electrolyzer system will leverage four HyLYZER®-5000s, with each producing up to 10 tons of hydrogen using 25MW electricity from waste material.