24 Apr 2022

Nation Taps into Hydrogen Potential

24 Apr 2022  by   

As an important secondary energy, hydrogen boasts far-reaching significance for ensuring energy security and reducing carbon dioxide emissions. [Photo/IC]

China has forged ahead to tap the potential of hydrogen in helping ensure energy security and reduce carbon emissions, according to Xie Zhenhua, the nation's special climate envoy.

"Global climate change is no longer a future challenge, but a currently actual and urgent threat," he said when addressing a conference on hydrogen application on World Earth Day on Friday, which was hosted by the All-China Environment Federation in Beijing.

The energy sector is key in tackling the crisis. As an important secondary energy, hydrogen boasts far-reaching significance for ensuring energy security and reducing carbon dioxide emissions, he noted.

Major developed economies have all hammered out policies and measures to motivate hydrogen development, he said. China has also thrown itself into actions as it strives to bring its ambitious climate targets into reality.

The country aims to peak carbon dioxide emissions before 2030 and realize carbon neutrality before 2060.

The policy system the country has been working on for realizing the targets, Xie said, has included plans to promote the development of the entire industrial chain for hydrogen-from production, storage, transportation to application-in a coordinated manner.

The system aims to explore the application of hydrogen in the industrial, transportation and construction sectors.

"Actually, we have had some good demonstration projects in all these sectors," he said.

In March, the National Development and Reform Commission, the country's top economic planner, unveiled a plan on the development of hydrogen energy for the 2021-35 period, naming hydrogen as a key part in the country's future energy system, he said.

According to the document, China aims to have about 50,000 hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles, which are supported by electricity produced from hydrogen, and produce 100,000 to 200,000 metric tons of renewable energy-based green hydrogen annually by 2025.

Ouyang Xun, chairman of Nowogen, a Beijing-headquartered developer of fuel cell and hydrogen technology, said China has great advantages in developing hydrogen and hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles.

The country started developing the basic material for hydrogen fuel cells about four decades ago, he said. The robust development of solar and wind energy in the country has laid a good foundation for producing green hydrogen.

Platinum is a key material for making hydrogen fuel cells, but almost all of the metal used in the cells can be recycled. China boasts sufficient other raw materials for the cells to be self-sufficient, he said.

He said the development of hydrogen fuel-cell and electric vehicles highly complement each other. Hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles have a marked edge over electric cars in heavy and long-haul operations.


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