The Price of the Future: How Much Does a Liter or a Kilogram of Hydrogen Cost?

The Price of the Future: How Much Does a Liter or a Kilogram of Hydrogen Cost?


Hydrogen has positioned itself as one of the main candidates to promote the transition towards a cleaner and more sustainable economy. As an alternative fuel, its potential to reduce carbon emissions and promote the use of renewable energy is undeniable. However, before considering mass adoption, it is crucial to understand the associated cost. In this article, we will break down the price of a liter or a kilogram of hydrogen, exploring its determinants and how this influences its competitiveness as an energy source.

Why is hydrogen relevant in the current energy context?

Before we dive into the costs, it’s critical to understand the relevance of hydrogen in today’s energy landscape. Its ability to produce clean energy through combustion processes or fuel cells makes it an attractive option for reducing our dependence on fossil fuels and mitigating climate change.

Determinants of the price of hydrogen

The cost of hydrogen can vary significantly depending on several key factors:

a) Production process: The hydrogen production method is a critical factor in its final cost. The main methods are: reforming of natural gas, electrolysis and gasification of biomass or waste. Electrolysis, powered by renewable energy, is the most promising option in terms of sustainability, but is currently more expensive than other forms based on fossil fuels.

b) Scale of production: The amount of hydrogen produced also influences its price. At larger scale, costs tend to be reduced due to economies of scale and process efficiencies.

c) Availability of resources: The local availability of resources such as natural gas, biomass or renewable electricity can affect the price of hydrogen in a given region.

d) Infrastructure: The existence of an adequate infrastructure to store, transport and distribute hydrogen can also impact its price.

Cost of hydrogen today

The price of hydrogen varies by country and the predominant production source in each region. In general, hydrogen produced from natural gas is cheaper, with a cost range of approximately $1.5 to $5 per kilogram. On the other hand, hydrogen produced by electrolysis, which is more sustainable, can cost about USD 3-7 per kilogram.

Expected evolution of the cost of hydrogen

As technology advances and further hydrogen production and adoption is promoted, costs are expected to drop significantly. It is projected that by 2030, hydrogen produced by electrolysis could reach a cost range of USD 1.5 to USD 3 per kilogram, bringing it closer to being competitive with other clean energy options.

Prospects of hydrogen in different industries

The price of hydrogen also influences its viability in different industrial sectors:

a) Transportation: Hydrogen is seen as an alternative to fuel cell electric vehicles, but its mass adoption depends to a large extent on a significant reduction in fuel costs.

b) Industry and energy: In industry, hydrogen can be used as a raw material for the production of chemical products and oil refining. It can also be used in stationary power applications, as backup for renewable energy or for cogeneration systems.

c) Energy storage: Hydrogen also has an important role in large-scale energy storage, allowing the integration of intermittent renewables into the electrical grid.

Incentives and policies to promote the use of hydrogen

To accelerate the adoption of hydrogen as an energy source, many countries are implementing policies and incentive programs. These may include subsidies for the production and use of hydrogen, investments in infrastructure, and measures to encourage research and development in related technologies.


The price of hydrogen is a critical factor that will determine its success as a clean and sustainable energy source in the future. Although current costs may seem high compared to fossil fuels, technological developments and favorable policy momentum are paving the way for increased competitiveness. As prices decline and infrastructure expands, hydrogen is likely to play a critical role in transforming our societies towards a greener, more sustainable future.

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