Through its new large-scale green hydrogen plant, China has provided a promise of clean energy for a world dominated by fossil fuel-driven hydrogen projects.
China is planning a large-scale green hydrogen energy project using solar and wind energy for the Inner Mongolia region. According to the Association for the Promotion of Hydrogen Energy Industry, a batch of factories will be built in Ordos and Baotou City, and it is expected to use 1.85 GW of solar energy and 370 MW of wind power to produce approximately 66,900 tons of green hydrogen each year.
If used in fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV), it will replace up to 180 million gallons of gasoline each year, which will help China achieve the goal of achieving 10,000 CVEVs and 74 hydrogen refueling stations in Beijing by 2025 alone.
The development of the project is expected to begin as early as October this year, with the goal of putting it into operation in the middle of 2023, much earlier than many other international green hydrogen projects currently underway.
Inner Mongolia is currently one of the largest coal mining areas in China. If the hydrogen energy project is successful, it will now become a center of renewable energy. China still relies heavily on its large coal industry, but admits that it must gradually transform to renewable energy substitution and decarbonization in the next few decades. The goal is to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060 after its carbon emissions peak in 2030.
This is just the latest wave of China’s hydrogen energy boom. It is estimated that the value of China’s hydrogen energy industry will reach US$154 billion within five years, and it will be 12 times this number by 2050.
Industrial giants Sinopec, Ningxia Baofeng Energy Group and China Baowu Iron and Steel Group are currently carrying out hydrogen energy projects in China.
Sinopec’s goal is to produce 500,000 tons of green hydrogen by 2025, with projects in Inner Mongolia and Xinjiang. The company currently produces 3.84 million tons of hydrogen per year, but most of it comes from coal production. The company also hopes to build 1,000 hydrogen refueling stations in China.
Ningxia Baofeng Energy Group announced the start of production in April “The world’s largest solar hydrogen” Project in Ningxia Autonomous Region of Northwest China. This coal-producing company has joined a national pilot program to develop the country’s renewable energy sector. Baofeng’s goal is to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions by 50% in the next ten years. The company hopes that new development projects can reduce coal usage by up to 254,000 tons per year, thereby reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 445,000 tons per year.
Finally, China Baowu Iron and Steel Group announced in July a new partnership with Honeywell International aimed at producing hydrogen energy. Honeywell’s hydrogen project will support Baowu Steel’s production for components used in fuel cell vehicles.Currently, the The ferrous metal industry accounts for about 15% of China’s carbon emissions, Making this transformation of great significance.
As Shell China and Shanghai Electric signed an agreement to develop green hydrogen energy in China, foreign companies are also eager to support the development of green hydrogen energy in China. Shell and Shanghai are also open to developing carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology to build on the existing gray hydrogen market.
After Shell announced the establishment of a joint venture with ZJK JT in 2020, it has established a reputation for hydrogen production in China. The two companies plan to develop a 20 MW hydrogen electrolyzer in Hebei Province to use wind and solar energy to produce green hydrogen. This hydrogen will power a gas station in Zhangjiakou, north of Beijing, the host city of the 2022 Winter Olympics. The first phase of the project will produce approximately 3,000 metric tons of green hydrogen per year.
The development of green hydrogen derived from fossil fuels instead of gray hydrogen also gives China a competitive advantage among European counterparts, many of which continue to rely on CCS technology to convert carbon dioxide emissions from oil and natural gas into hydrogen.
Although China is a major contributor to global carbon emissions, it emits approximately 10.17 billion tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every year, but the large-scale development of completely green hydrogen will benefit the International Energy Administration and the United Nations International Panel on Climate Change. The report, which deals with the need to decarbonize the world, shifts from fossil fuels to renewable alternatives.
However, the cost of developing China’s green hydrogen industry cannot be ignored. Many countries around the world insist on gray hydrogen projects because of cost. In order to successfully lead the development of green hydrogen energy in the world, China must be prepared to support enterprises through a green financing system to reduce the financial burden of developing such large-scale green energy projects. At the same time, hydrogen use knowledge and demand potential are still being established.
Following several announcements made by state-owned enterprises and super giants this year, China seems to be a world leader in the field of green hydrogen energy in the next ten years. However, in order to succeed, the government must continue to support companies through this development through pilot projects, the promotion of new energy in the 2022 Winter Olympics, urban electric vehicle trials, and broader green energy financing.