Source : https://www.argusmedia.com/en/news/2256750-china-hydrogen-alliance-seeks-100gw-renewable-capacity
China's state-backed industry group the China Hydrogen Alliance has unveiled an initiative calling for the building of 100GW of renewable hydrogen production capacity by 2030, in a country where only 4pc of its output was previously considered "green".
The Renewable Hydrogen 100 Initiative is short of firm details and the likely costs of such a large-scale undertaking, but calls on China to support the installation of 100GW of electrolysers to produce hydrogen, along with the renewable energy projects required to power them.
The initiative also urges China's industry sector to carry out research projects for the future use of hydrogen, creation of a "unified renewable hydrogen market", development of a renewable hydrogen policy partnering upstream and downstream enterprises, as well as the creation of global standards to "unblock" international renewable hydrogen investment and trade.
China is the world's largest producer of hydrogen, but most of it is brown hydrogen produced from fossil fuels, with coal accounting for 62pc of feedstock compared with 18pc globally. Only 4pc of China's hydrogen uses renewable-based electricity to convert water into oxygen and hydrogen by electrolysis. The country produced more than 21mn t of hydrogen in 2019, out of 70mn t produced globally.
While coal remains the cheapest source of hydrogen it is also the most polluting, which is hardly in line with President Xi Jinping's previous pledge that Chinese emissions will peak "before 2030" and 2060 carbon neutrality target.
Projects are already under way in the country to clean up its hydrogen production profile. China's coal-focused Inner Mongolia region has laid out plans to develop seven wind and solar power projects that could produce almost 67,000 t/yr of hydrogen, as part of a push to raise output to 500,000 t/yr by 2025.
Chinese state-controlled oil firm Sinopec plans to build its first green hydrogen project in Inner Mongolia by next year, using renewables to produce 10,000 t/yr of green hydrogen. It produces 3.5mn t/yr of hydrogen, 14pc of China's total, mostly as a refinery by-product. Sinopec has already set a goal to become the largest hydrogen producer in China, with initial planned investment of about 30bn yuan ($4.6bn) in the sector in the next five years.
By Richard Davies