The Technical and Economic Potential of Hydrogen within the United States

Mark Ruth, Paige Jadun, Amgad Elgowainy, Richard Boardman, Nicholas Gilroy, Elizabeth Connelly, A. Simon, Jarett Zuboy

Research output: NRELPresentation


Hydrogen markets have an opportunity to grow as its value as an energy intermediate increases. Hydrogen’s estimated serviceable consumption potential in the United States is 106 MMT/yr which is a ten-fold increase over the current market size. That opportunity is driven primarily by increased demands for metals refining, biofuel and hydrocarbon production, supplementing the natural gas system, seasonal storage for the electricity grid, and fuel cell electric vehicles. The U.S. has many renewable, nuclear, and fossil resources that each could meet that demand itself. The economic potential, which considers both costs to produce hydrogen and willingness of applications to pay for it, is 22 to 41 MMT/yr. The range is impacted by factors that impact the cost to produce including the price of natural gas and the cost of electrolyzers. It is also impacted by competition to provide the same services as hydrogen including electrification.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages35
StatePublished - 2021

Publication series

NamePresented at the HyPT-2 Meeting, 14 September 2021

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/PR-6A20-80942


  • electrolysis
  • H2@Scale
  • hydrogen
  • low-cost dispatch-constrained electricity (LDE)


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