Synopsis:The global hydrogen project pipeline exhibits positive growth, with around 104 million metric tons peryear capacity across 11,000 projects worldwide, according to energy consultancy Wood Mackenzie. Despite this growth, WoodMac highlights that projects are progressing too slowly towards final investment decisions and operations. The US leads in capacity and advanced projects, buoyed by government subsidies. However, the UK showcases strong policy readiness and standards. Europe, Australia, Africa, and Latin America also contribute significantly. WoodMac calls for accelerated interventions to match hydrogen market potential.Article:In the realm of global energy transformation, the hydrogen project pipeline shines as a beacon of potential. With approximately 11,000 projects announced worldwide, the low-carbon hydrogen production pipeline has soared to about 104 million metric tons per year, estimates energy research and consultancy firm Wood Mackenzie. Yet, beneath the veneer of growth, a critical concern emerges: projects are languishing in their journey towards final investment decisions and operational status.Diving into the specifics, the United States emerges as a frontrunner both in terms of announced capacity and advanced projects. Murray Douglas, Head of Hydrogen Research at WoodMac, notes the US’s 18% share of the total announced capacity. This share is anticipated to swell further due to substantial government subsidies, a catalyst for the nation’s hydrogen endeavors.Contrastingly, the United Kingdom boasts a 9% share of the global hydrogen pipeline. The UK’s policy preparedness stands out globally, with well-defined standards for hydrogen integration, storage, and transportation. Despite this, WoodMac casts doubts on the UK's ambitious goal of operationalizing 2 gigawatts of hydrogen production capacity by 2025, deeming it a challenging feat.Zooming out, Europe takes the lead in regional hydrogen share, accounting for 20% of the global pipeline, followed by Australia (14%), Africa (13%), and Latin America and the Caribbean (10%). Notably, the Middle East contributes 5% to the announced capacity, primarily influenced by the Neom project in Saudi Arabia. Russia and the Caspian region contribute 4%, and Asia Pacific and Canada claim 1% and 3% respectively. China and India trail slightly, with 1% and 2% of the total announced projects.While the hydrogen pipeline's growth is promising, a sobering truth emerges: projects are not progressing towards FIDs and operational phases with the required swiftness. Douglas highlights that despite the majority of announced projects focusing on green hydrogen, blue hydrogen initiatives are driving towards FIDs and eventual operation.WoodMac offers a glimpse into the potential future, projecting the possibility of approving 1 million tonnes/year of hydrogen production capacity by the end of the current year, and up to 5 million tonnes/year by the close of 2024. However, this projection lags behind targets set in various regions. Expressing concern over the pace of progress, Douglas emphasizes that the hydrogen market requires intensified interventions and midstream infrastructure development to accelerate adoption.Conclusion: The global hydrogen landscape, vibrant with potential, also confronts the reality of sluggish progress. While impressive capacity numbers and projects dot the horizon, the journey towards actualization remains frustratingly slow. As the hydrogen market beckons with boundless opportunities, stakeholders are urged to expedite interventions and infrastructure development to truly harness this promising energy source.