This article is part of a series on clean hydrogen. Read more.

Chart: Which countries are leading the green hydrogen race?

Right now, the world produces almost no green hydrogen. But around the globe, that’s set to change — here’s where it’s happening first.
By Maria Virginia Olano

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Whether you believe green hydrogen to be fundamental to the clean energy transition or dismiss it as an overhyped technology, one thing is for certain — more of it is coming.

But where will most of this green hydrogen be produced? Besides China’s enormous lead, the answer is a bit all over the map. According to the International Energy Agency’s hydrogen projects database, these are the top 15 countries with the most green hydrogen capacity that’s operational or under construction or has secured committed financing.

China is currently the world’s largest consumer and producer of hydrogen. Most of the hydrogen it makes today is fossil-fuel-based, but the country has big plans to scale up its green hydrogen production and use the fuel to decarbonize sectors like steel and chemicals production.

Saudi Arabia is next on the list, thanks to the fact that it’s currently building the world’s largest green hydrogen project. A joint venture between ACWA Power, Air Products and Neom, the huge facility will include up to 4 gigawatts of solar and wind energy to produce up to 600 tonnes” of green hydrogen per day. That would mean the facility will be capable of producing over 200 kilotonnes of green hydrogen per year if it operates every day. For context, the largest existing green-hydrogen facility, in China’s Xinjiang region, has a capacity of just over 44 kilotonnes per year.

Sweden, which opened its largest electrolyzer facility last year, is up next, and fellow European Union members Germany and France also make the top 10. The EU has plans to produce 10 million tonnes and import 10 million tonnes” of renewable hydrogen” by 2030, and it has set ambitious targets to boost hydrogen use in industry and transport, positioning itself as a leader in demand-side policy incentives, which are lacking elsewhere.

The United States is just behind Sweden on green hydrogen plans. Thanks to the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act, which includes the world’s most generous clean hydrogen subsidies, the country is expected to see a wave of new investment in green hydrogen production.

The United Kingdom, which has its own set of support measures for clean hydrogen, rounds out the top five countries.

In total, the world produces just 180 kilotonnes of electrolysis-based hydrogen per year right now. But that number could reach more than 14,000 kilotonnes by 2030 if all projects currently under construction become operational — and that’s not even counting the hundreds more that have been announced but don’t have investment or permitting yet.

Verdagy manufactures an advanced AWE electrolyzer system that has superior performance to almost any system in the market — high current densities and the largest membranes leading to higher hydrogen production, high efficiencies leading to lower LCOH, and wide dynamic range and fast turndowns to seamlessly integrate with renewables. In addition to its Silicon Valley factory, Verdagy operates its R&D and highly automated commercial pilot plants in Moss Landing, California, where it continues to advance its cutting-edge technology.

Maria Virginia Olano is editorial producer at Canary Media.