Researched by Industrial Info Resources (Sugar Land, Texas)--While it varies from location to location, the world is in the midst of an energy transition as countries, provinces and states aim to reduce carbon emissions, causing the growth of new technologies and project spending on a global scale. In a recent webinar, Industrial Info's Trey Hamblet, vice president of research for Chemical Processing, Britt Burt, vice president of research for Power, and Shaheen Chohan, vice president of Global Analytics, discussed these emerging technologies and the market drivers and trends they are bringing.

Early in the discussion, Hamblet explained exactly what Power-to-X is: "When we say Power-to-X, it's renewable energy, particularly wind, solar and hydro, being brought into an electrolysis unit and converted to a "green" commodity--particularly hydrogen at the starting point. It's an 'X,' because they can take that hydrogen and further synthesize it...and come up with another variation of that hydrogen," including ammonia, methanol and some liquid fuels. Industrial Info is tracking more than 120 Power-to-X projects throughout the world, worth more than $42 billion. Hamblet said Industrial Info is adding three to five of these types of projects in an average week.

Hamblet also discussed the many other "colors" of hydrogen, including blue hydrogen when natural gas is split into hydrogen and CO2 by steam methane reforming, and pink hydrogen, which uses nuclear wastewater.


While traditional investment represents the majority of spending in the Petroleum Refining Industry, certain parts of the world have seen a large shift toward fuels with a less intensive carbon footprint, such as renewable diesel. Hamblet said there are several traditional, older refineries in Europe and North America that are looking to completely retool in order to produce renewable diesel, which has a lower sulfur content than traditional diesel and can be used directly in existing diesel engines without the need for upgrades or retrofits.

For quite some time, the Power Industry has been in a massive transition toward renewable energy. Solar, wind and hydro projects account for nearly 60% of the power projects tracked by Industrial Info throughout the world. As much of this is built in remote locations, there is an accompanying drive toward increasing transmission and distribution infrastructure.

Coal and natural gas both represented a larger portion of project starts in terms of generating capacity through 2017, but by 2018, new wind and solar capacity began surpassing traditional fuel types and has only grown from there.

The cost of solar power is declining, and many countries, including the U.S, are giving a boost to solar power by tax credits and price guarantees. "There's hardly a geographic region throughout the world that isn't making a bigger push toward adding more solar," said Burt.

Most proposed wind capacity has been in the form of land-based windfarms, with the exception of Europe, which has seen a large number of offshore projects. However, this dynamic is shifting, with more offshore projects being sanctioned throughout the world. Burt said some of these are being developed specifically for green applications like green hydrogen and Power-to-X. The U.S. is aiming for 30 gigawatts of installed offshore capacity by 2030.

While hydropower projects face a great deal of environmental headwinds, Burt said, "I find it would be very difficult to meet carbon goals without hydro playing more of a major role moving forward. Hydropower remains a significant player in South Asia, Southeast Asia and China.

Burt also noted many natural gas turbine manufacturers, including Siemens Energy (Munich, Germany), Mitsubishi Power (Yokohama, Japan) and General Electric (NYSE:GE) (Boston, Massachusetts), are very active in adapting their turbines to burn more hydrogen, with some already capable of using 100% hydrogen.

Click here to view the complete webinar.

Industrial Info Resources (IIR), with global headquarters in Sugar Land, Texas, six offices in North America and 12 international offices, is the leading provider of global market intelligence specializing in the industrial process, heavy manufacturing and energy markets. Industrial Info's quality-assurance philosophy, the Living Forward Reporting Principle, provides up-to-the-minute intelligence on what's happening now, while constantly keeping track of future opportunities. Follow IIR on: Facebook - Twitter - LinkedIn.

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