Green hydrogen as new growth pocket for desalination - Once it takes off at scale

Green hydrogen as new growth pocket for desalination - Once it takes off at scale

December 4, 2023

What the likely growth in demand for green hydrogen could mean for the desalination market?

In the rapidly evolving landscape of global energy , the pace of the energy transition is nothing short of remarkable. Industries worldwide are not only observing but actively participating in this transformation. A key aspect of this change is the rising awareness among energy companies about the critical role they play. The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) highlights a significant target in this journey: to limit global warming to well below 2 °C compared to pre-industrial levels. Achieving this ambitious goal hinges on a substantial increase in the demand for green hydrogen, potentially reaching up to 500 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) by 2050. This surge is set to create a ripple effect across various industries, marking a new era of interconnectedness and mutual growth.

"Strategic consortia and changes in policy making will help desalination players navigate the emerging green H2 ecosystem"
Portrait of Hani Tohme
Senior Partner, Managing Partner Middle East
Dubai Office, Middle East

Our latest study delves into the intriguing potential that lies at the intersection of green hydrogen production and the desalination industry. We've uncovered that the burgeoning green hydrogen sector could necessitate a modest 250,000-500,000 cubic meters (m³) per day of desalination capacity by 2030. This figure could skyrocket to an astounding 10-20 million m³ per day by 2050 if the world is to meet its climate ambitions. But what exactly is fueling this forecasted surge in water demand for green hydrogen production? And why is desalination emerging as a critical solution?

We're exploring the drivers behind this growth and the strategic role desalination could play in meeting the increasing water demands of the green hydrogen industry. Our analysis sheds light on the anticipated major centers of green hydrogen production and, consequently, where the need for desalination services is likely to emerge. This study is not just about numbers and projections; it's a deep dive into the realities and practicalities of this emerging synergy.

"As green hydrogen production will take off at scale, a new market segment for desalination players will emerge"
Portrait of Vatche Kourkejian
Senior Partner
Dubai Office, Middle East

Furthermore, our comprehensive exploration addresses crucial questions for desalination companies. What proactive steps should these players take today to gear up for the expected surge in demand? How can they align their strategies and capabilities with the evolving needs of the green hydrogen industry? Our insights offer a roadmap for desalination companies to navigate this new landscape, highlighting opportunities for innovation, collaboration, and growth.

As we dissect the truth behind the figures, the study presents a compelling narrative about the future of green energy and water management. This isn't just about understanding a market trend; it's about envisioning and preparing for a future where green hydrogen and desalination industries thrive together, contributing significantly to global sustainability efforts.

The report highlights new opportunities for market players in the green hydrogen and desalination sectors. Our Roland Berger experts are poised to help these industries to transform, adapt, and lead in the face of a changing world.


Green hydrogen as new growth pocket for desalination - Once it takes off at scale


This study looks at at the potential opportunity that the likely growth of green hydrogen presents for desalination companies.

Published December 2023. Available in
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