Consulting analysts in tomorrow’s commodities and technologies

Hydrogen market reports

SFA's hydrogen market reports - decarbonising industry and transport offers long-term PGM demand growth

SFA (Oxford)’s expertise enables us to leverage our unique insights into the connections between the hydrogen market and PGMs, the strategic metals needed in this fast-developing sector.

Throughout SFA’s history, we have provided our clients with unparalleled analytical insights, showing that technological innovation, legislation and business developments all point to the greater adoption of electrolyser and hydrogen fuel cell technology as a global key clean energy solution. 

SFA (Oxford) has worked with clients in the hydrogen fuel cell space on projects from assessing the role of fuel cell vehicles in underground mining, through to understanding the supply and pricing dynamics of platinum, iridium and ruthenium to assess the long term viability of the hydrogen market, to investors seeking an understanding of the industry and the role of the PGMs in its future.

SFA (Oxford) on an ongoing basis identifies and analyses the hydrogen chain of players, evolving technology and patents, critical investments, as well as government and regional support for the hydrogen sectors. It identifies main markets including electrolysers and fuel cells in different transport modes (trucks, buses, trains, ships, cars and more) and the timescale for regional and global growth. SFA (Oxford) also evaluates the risks from competing technologies and how hydrogen fuel cell based technologies can be competitive.

Naturally, transport remains one of the most visible applications of fuel cell technology and SFA (Oxford)'s PGM demand forecast model enables us to see the growth opportunities and mitigate the risk. Twenty years of forecasting PGM demand in autocatalysts – light duty and heavy duty, gasoline and diesel, in regions subject to a range of air quality standards – has enabled us seamlessly move into forecasting demand for the critical metals deployed in hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and hydrogen production.

Hydrogen feasibility reaches tipping point

Hydrogen fuel cell technology has existed for a long time, though, to date, it has been held back by the need to leverage economies of scale to make the technology fiscally viable. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, hydrogen technology implementation has been moved to the forefront of infrastructure rejuvenation packages which have been outlined by countries looking to bolster their economies for a low carbon future.

Initiatives such as the EU's Green New Deal have spurred a wave of pledges for widespread investment into the technology. Coupled with the move to reduce investment in fossil fuels and utilise their existing infrastructure. 

The hydrogen economy and fuel cell production represents an emergent source of platinum group metal demand in which SFA will provide comprehensive coverage of these significant new developments and their implications on the sourcing of the vital metal constituents.


Hydrogen in our long-term market outlook

For the first time in May 2020, SFA (Oxford) produced a 10-year forecast for platinum demand in electrolysers and fuel cells in our Long-Term Market Outlook report. This demand forecast was set in the context of the electrolysis technologies for hydrogen production and their different demand for PGMs, the energy and environmental policies driving adoption of hydrogen at very differing rates in each region and SFA’s deep knowledge of the vehicle powertrain market, driving some of the end users of fuel cells.

In the upcoming September 2020 Biannual, SFA will dive deeper into some of the supply aspects of the metals used in the hydrogen economy and will begin to identify and champion the tightening bond between the PGMs and the hydrogen economy.


Select SFA assignments

  • Reporting on strategic metal supplies to support tomorrow’s hydrogen economy - commissioned by a consortium of technological leaders

A credible and independent assessment of long-term metal supply

Providing a detailed report and presentation to a consortium to fuel cell technology companies, major auto makers, gas companies, technology companies and third party manufacturers on the long-term viability of platinum and iridium supplies to support a budding hydrogen economy.


  • Contextualising prospects for the hydrogen economy – commission by Family Wealth Office

Investment opportunities in developing markets

Market evaluation including assessing how technology shifts, legislative changes and environmental issues will impact markets, evaluation of niche applications in new end-uses and the long-term sustainability of these applications.


  • Identifying new demand opportunities for PGM – commissioned by major PGM producers

Strategic review of the demand potential for fuel cells

Analysis of fuel cells with specific focus on technological feasibility, commercial potential, legislative support & market drivers, ownership of IP/licensing as well as company supply chains and current commercial arrangements.


  • Competition for supply - commissioned by electrolyser and fuel cell production company

Future availability and price forecasting of key strategic metals

Examination of future demand for platinum and iridium and available of supply.


  • Global drivers for fuel cell adoption – commissioned by fuel cell component manufacturer

Prospects for fuel cell use in transport

Fuel cell market study with specific focus on drivers of adoption and applications opportunities in private and public transport.




Fuel cells have formed a core thrust of SFA’s unique Oxford Platinum Lectures events


  • 2020: Platinum: The next five years

Andy Walker, Johnson Matthey, 

‘The role of fuel cell vehicles in enabling the move to net zero greenhouse gas emissions’ on the evolution of fuel cells.'

  • 2018: Smart responses for platinum’s natural selection.

Dr Graham Cooley, Chief Executive Officer, ITM Power

'Hydrogen energy solutions that meet society's new requirements for grid balancing and energy storage services, and the production of clean fuel for transport.'

  • 2017: The rise of the informed consumer

Andreas Wittman, Managing Director, Linde Hydrogen Concepts

'A car sharing future using zero emissions - hydrogen mobility.'

  • 2016: Parts of the sum: Powerful players in today’s PGM buying cycle

Dr Katsuhiko Hirose, WPI Professor, International Institute for Carbon-Neutral Energy Research, Kyushu University and Hydrogen & Fuel Cell Promotion Group, Toyota

'Where do precious metals lie on the journey towards the future of sustainable mobility?.'


  • 2015: Platinum dependency: Regular, risky and experimental market arguments

Nick Tunnell, Aftersales Director, Hyundai Motor UK (Introduction by Anglo American Platinum)

'Growing the European fuel cell market.'


SFA's Hydrogen Team


Dr Jenny Watts: Head of Hydrogen Analytics


Francesca Price: Senior Mining & Commodities Analyst


Oksan Atilan: Consulting Market Analyst: Automotive Demand


Aisling Hubert: Senior Mining & ESG Analyst