McKinsey Study ‘Road Map to a US Hydrogen Economy’ Promotes Scale-Up Activities in the Growing Hydrogen Economy

By October 5, 2020 4   min read  (788 words)

October 5, 2020 |

Road Map to US Hydrogen Economy Main
  • Plug Power CEO and other transportation, fuel and utility industry executives begin week of virtual Road Map promotion

LATHAM, N.Y.Plug Power Inc. (NASDAQ: PLUG), a leading provider of hydrogen engines and fueling solutions enabling e-mobility, joins other transportation, gas and utility industry executives to promote the formal launch of the McKinsey study titled ‘Road Map to a US Hydrogen Economy’. The United States has long been a leader in global energy innovation, and US-based Plug Power is leading the hydrogen economy as the country’s largest user of liquid hydrogen today. A shift to broader use of hydrogen brings tremendous value when facing climate change, decarbonization, and energy infrastructure and storage demands among an evolving regulatory landscape.

The Road Map outlines five major segments of the economy where hydrogen can impact the economy – including transportation, power generation and grid balancing, fuel for industry, feedstock, and fuel for residential and commercial buildings. “By scaling up across sectors, hydrogen demand in the US could reach 17 million metric tons by 2030 and 63 million metric tons by 2050, roughly equivalent to 14 percent of energy demand,” as noted in the study.

The US is uniquely positioned to grow and lead the green hydrogen economy due to the abundant, low cost renewable energy sources needed to produce green hydrogen, including wind, solar, hydropower and nuclear. This flexibility makes the hydrogen fuel cost competitive for consumers, while strengthening the resilience and reliability of the entire US energy system. Plug Power is well positioned to be a key contributor to building the green hydrogen industry with capabilities in generation, liquefaction and distribution of zero-carbon hydrogen fuel, complementing its industry-leading position in the design, construction, and operation of customer-facing hydrogen fueling stations.

For US transport, hydrogen enables the adoption of electric vehicles in high-asset utilization applications like long-haul trucking. The study cites, “The US has a large long-haul trucking industry compared with other markets, with about 180 billion miles travelled per year. Such long distances and preferences for large vehicles favor fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) over battery electric vehicles (BEVs).”

Many industrial applications have reached points of adoption for hydrogen fuel cell power. This includes Plug Power’s core market of material handling, where more than 35,000 vehicles have operated more than 580 million hours, resulting in more than 6.7 pounds of CO2 removed from the air in 2020 alone. Light-, medium-, and heavy-duty trucks are identified as established and emerging markets for hydrogen adoption.

“We are focused on accelerating a pathway to transition from low-carbon to zero-carbon hydrogen solutions,” said Andy Marsh, CEO for Plug Power “Liquid hydrogen demands derived from multiple sectors can reach more than 1,000 tons per day by 2030, and green hydrogen meets the needs. Plug Power has plans to build green hydrogen plants in the US, starting in the fourth quarter of 2020 using wind and hydroelectric power.”

As stated in the study, hydrogen can meet 14 percent of the US energy demand by 2050, and Plug Power is well positioned to play our part in growing the green hydrogen economy.

US Road Map Virtual Roll-Out Events
Plug Power’s CEO will participate in a number of roll-out events this week sponsored by FCHEA (Fuel Cell & Hydrogen Energy Association), with the media event occurring on Monday, October 5, 2020 from 12:00-1:00pm ET.

At this virtual event, findings of the McKinsey study will be detailed by Dr. Jack Brouwer, Professor of Mechanical Aerospace Engineering at University of California, Irvine, then discussed from an industry perspective by leaders including Plug Power, Toyota Motor North America, Shell, Air Liquide, Microsoft and SoCalGas.

Media attendees can register at

About Plug Power

Plug Power is building the hydrogen economy as the leading provider of comprehensive hydrogen fuel cell (HFC) turnkey solutions. The company’s innovative technology powers electric motors with hydrogen fuel cells amid an ongoing paradigm shift in the power, energy, and transportation industries to address climate change and energy security, while providing efficiency gains and meeting sustainability goals. Plug Power created the first commercially viable market for hydrogen fuel cell (HFC) technology. As a result, the company has deployed over 35,000 fuel cell systems for e-mobility, more than anyone else in the world, and has become the largest buyer of liquid hydrogen, having built and operated a hydrogen highway across North America. Plug Power delivers a significant value proposition to end-customers, including meaningful environmental benefits, efficiency gains, fast fueling, and lower operational costs. Plug Power’s vertically-integrated GenKey solution ties together all critical elements to power, fuel, and provide service to customers such as Amazon, BMW, The Southern Company, Carrefour, and Walmart. The company is now leveraging its know-how, modular product architecture and foundational customers to rapidly expand into other key markets including zero-emission on-road vehicles, robotics, and data centers.


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