Skip to Content

Low-carbon hydrogen: A path to a greener future

With the global imperative towards sustainability driving organisations to explore sustainable energy solutions, the Capgemini Research Institute has been exploring possible routes to accelerating decarbonisation.

The most prominent hydrogen production methods continue to rely on fossil fuels. To solve this problem, the world is currently exploring “low-carbon hydrogen” (such as green hydrogen or pink hydrogen), which has only marginal carbon emissions in the production process and is emerging as a promising tool for emissions reduction and sustainable development.

Recognising the potential for low-carbon hydrogen to contribute to a sustainable future, we examine the topic in depth in our newest Capgemini Research Institute report, Low-carbon hydrogen: A path to a greener future. We answer the question of “what is green hydrogen?”, assess the current state of it, and look at how organisations can capitalise on the opportunities that it creates. To this end, we surveyed over 800 global executives from the energy and utilities (E&U) sector as well as end-user sectors and conducted 20 in-depth interviews with stakeholders across a variety of organisations.  

Our findings indicate that with government support, declining renewable energy costs, rapid technological advances, and a growing focus on decarbonisation and sustainability, the demand for low-carbon hydrogen will increase manifold in the coming years. E&U organisations expect low-carbon hydrogen to meet up to 18% of energy demand by 2050. Investment in the area is already taking off and is set to increase significantly – 64% of E&U organisations in our survey plan to invest in low-carbon hydrogen initiatives by 2030, and 9 in 10 plan to do so by 2050.

Nevertheless, there are several obstacles that low-carbon hydrogen will have to overcome to fulfil organisations’ hopes. A big challenge is cost, with low-carbon hydrogen still being 2–3 times more expensive to produce than carbon-based hydrogen. Moreover, the high costs of storage, transportation, as well as energy losses across the value chain all contribute to an increased total cost of operations. Finally, there are also engineering and skill shortage challenges that organisations must contend with.

Still, it is evident that low-carbon hydrogen holds real decarbonisation potential. But in order to succeed in their initiatives, organisations will need to navigate several obstacles along the way to seize the opportunity, mitigate costs, and scale at pace. In this report, we provide insight into how E&U organisations can approach these challenges, exploring five major themes of low-carbon hydrogen and three layers that organisations will need to address in order to achieve their goals.

To learn more about low-carbon hydrogen and how organisations can capitalize on the opportunity it presents, download the report.

Meet our experts

James Forrest

Expert in Artificial Intelligence, Business Transformation, Infrastructure Transformation, IOT

Florent Andrillon

Expert in Strategy & Transformation
Florent started his career at Oil and Energy Firm before joining Capgemini Invent in 2005. He has worked in France and abroad with players in the Energy and Utilities sector: large companies, players wishing to enter this market or parapublic organizations. He has supported these organizations for 18 years with their strategic projects of energy transition, acceleration, and global transformation.

Mike Lewis

VP Global Leader Energy Transition
He is the lead of Capgemini’s Energy Transition business globally. He is responsible for our client’s success in their move to low carbon energy – both the products and services our clients bring to market, and how their own company transition to low carbon, sustainable business practices.

Peter King

Global Energy and Utilities Lead Capgemini Invent
I focus on driving transformation by working with my clients to define new ways of working, new operating models and the transformation programs that will deliver change.

Richard Biagioni

Vice President Climate, Sustainability & Ecosystems chez, Capgemini Invent

    Stay informed

    Subscribe to receive advance copies of our research