Hydrogen could account for almost one-fifth of total energy consumed by 2050 if deployed at scale.
That would reduce annual carbon emissions by roughly six gigatons compared to today’s level, according to the Hydrogen Council – a global initiative of leading energy, transport and industry firms, including Toyota, Honda, Hyundai, Total and Shell.
Its report also found hydrogen has the potential to power around 10 to 15 million cars and 500,000 trucks by 2030, with many uses in other sectors as well, such as industry processes and feedstocks, building heating and power as well as storage.
Overall, it predicts the annual demand for hydrogen could increase 10-fold by 2050.
Achieving it would require up to $25 billion (£19bn) every year, including the right regulatory framework.
Takeshi Uchiyamada, Chairman of Toyota Motor Corporation and Co-chair of the Hydrogen Council said: “The world in the 21st century must transition to widespread low carbon energy use. Hydrogen is an indispensable resource to achieve this transition because it can be used to store and transport wind, solar and other renewable electricity to power transportation and many other things.
“The Hydrogen Council has identified seven roles for hydrogen, which is why we are encouraging governments and investors to give it a prominent role in their energy plans. The sooner we get the hydrogen economy going, the better and we are all committed to making this a reality.”