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Green passion fuels hydrogen energy industry across China

China, the world’s largest hydrogen producer, is seeing
gathering growth steam in its nascent hydrogen energy industry as
local governments and companies race to seize emerging
opportunities in the sector’s catalytic role in empowering the
country’s green shift, Trend reports citing Xinhua.

Several local governments have recently introduced supportive
policies to speed up hydrogen energy industrial layout, involving
the promotion of fuel-cell vehicles, the construction of hydrogen
refueling stations and the development of industrial chains.

The country’s capital city of Beijing unveiled an initial plan,
mulling offering subsidies up to 30 million yuan (about 4.45
million U.S. dollars) per project in fields like advanced hydrogen
production, storage and transportation and hydrogen refuelling
facilities.

Last month, east China’s Shandong Province said that it’s
looking to build a hydrogen energy industry totaling over 100
billion yuan, roll out at least 10,000 fuel-cell vehicles, and
build 100 hydrogen refueling stations by 2025.

The local governments’ passion for the sector is well-grounded,
as the country has huge growth potential in utilizing hydrogen
energy, especially its application in empowering green vehicles by
making fuel cells.

Hydrogen can only be generated by consuming primary energy such
as coal, natural gas and renewable energy. China has an annual
hydrogen production output of about 33 million tonnes, but most of
the hydrogen comes from fossil fuels.

By 2025, the country will have about 50,000 fuel-cell vehicles
and its annual hydrogen production from renewable energy will reach
100,000 to 200,000 tonnes, according to a plan jointly released by
the National Development and Reform Commission, and the National
Energy Administration (NEA) in March.

The plan acknowledged that China’s hydrogen energy industry is
still in its infancy, facing multiple problems such as weak
innovation capabilities, low level of technical equipment and
insufficient basic support for industrial development.

Data from the NEA showed that China had over 270 hydrogen
refueling stations by the end of June, which is quite a small
network compared with the country’s extensive presence of charging
facilities for electric vehicles.

The country has over 300 hydrogen energy-related companies with
annual operating revenue of at least 20 million yuan. Its growing
hydrogen energy market has attracted both domestic and foreign
firms.

Global energy giant Shell announced in July that its China
branch has teamed up with a Chinese counterpart to form a joint
venture in Shanghai to build a network of hydrogen refuelling
stations in the Chinese financial hub, which will be Shell’s first
hydrogen refuelling network in Asia.

The joint venture plans to build six to 10 hydrogen refuelling
stations in Shanghai and the Yangtze River Delta over the next five
years and scale up to 30 stations across the Yangtze River Delta by
2030. These 30 stations could provide hydrogen supply to about
3,000 fuel-cell trucks or buses every day, according to the
company.

“Hydrogen will play an important role in reducing emissions of
hard-to-abate sectors such as transport and heavy industry in
China,” said Jason Wong, Executive Chairman of Shell Companies in
China.

“We see opportunities across the hydrogen value chain in China,”
Wong said.

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