Countries in the Asia-Pacific region, such as India, Japan, South Korea, China and Australia, are planning to set up projects as well as speed up policy formulation, as they step up efforts to make hydrogen a part of their energy mix.
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While most hydrogen exists in its molecular or compound forms, such as in water and organic fossil fuels, increasingly, hydrogen molecules are being looked upon as a potential energy carrier. Hydrogen can be produced from a wide array of pathways and feedstocks. But three pathways have garnered attention -- steam methane reformation, biomass reformation, and electrolysis.
- Japan's launched Basic Hydrogen Strategy in December 2017 and aims to pioneer the world's first "hydrogen society". The strategy aims to decarbonize key sectors such as transport, power, industry and residential sectors while strengthening energy security.
- State-owned Indian Oil Corp. is working on a long-term energy transition strategy, which would involve producing hydrogen in a cost-effective way and developing technology to combine compressed natural gas with hydrogen.
- Beijing is considering subsidies on fuel cell vehicles and trying to find ways to encourage hydrogen consumption in new sectors. Development of reliable and durable carbon capture technology remains at the forefront of hydrogen production in China through coal gasification.
- The government unveiled hydrogen blueprint in 2019, with the vision to sharply increase production of hydrogen-powered vehicles and electricity generation by hydrogen to use it as a major energy source for transportation and power generation.
- Under its "roadmap for hydrogen economy," South Korea will transform three cities into hydrogen-powered ones and produce 81,000 hydrogen-powered cars by 2022, which will increase to 6.2 million units by 2040.
- Five Singapore and two Japanese companies have recently signed an agreement to study how hydrogen as a low-carbon alternative can contribute to a clean and sustainable energy future for Singapore. The companies are PSA Corp. Ltd., Jurong Port Pte. Ltd., City Gas Pte. Ltd., Sembcorp Industries, Singapore LNG Corp. Pte. Ltd., Chiyoda Corp. and Mitsubishi Corp.
- Australia has crafted out a national strategy for hydrogen with the aim to be major global player by 2030. A key element of Australia's approach will be to create clusters of large-scale demand -- such as ports and cities. These will be complemented by other early steps to use hydrogen in transport, industry and gas distribution networks.
- IOC is working on technology to develop hydrogen-spiked CNG, or H-CNG, which would involve partly reforming methane and CNG. Under this process, the entire CNG of a station would pass through this new reforming unit and part of the methane would get converted into hydrogen, with the outlet product having 17%-18% hydrogen.
- IOC is collaborating with the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers and other vehicle manufacturers to undertake field validation exercises to arrive at the optimal hydrogen percentage to be spiked in CNG.
- China has introduced fuel cell vehicles in a small number of pilot cities, a policy which helped kick-start the widespread use of electric vehicles.
- A Draft Development Plan for the New Energy Vehicle Industry 2021-2035, realized in 2019, places focus on the development of hydrogen vehicle technology and the construction of fuel storage.
- South Korea's Hyosung Group has signed a deal with Linde, a chemical company, for a Won 300 billion ($244 million) project to build the world's largest liquid hydrogen plant.
- The plant will have a capacity of 13,000 mt/year by 2022 in Ulsan on South Korea's southeast coast. The plant can power 100,000 hydrogen vehicles on a single charge. Hyosung and Linde will also build 50 new hydrogen charging stations and expand facilities at 70 other hydrogen charging stations in South Korea by 2022.
- Kawasaki in December 2019 launched the world's first liquid-hydrogen carrying ship. Several other Japanese firms including Toyota, are making sizable investments in the future hydrogen economy.
- In the transportation sector, Japan is targeting 800,000 new fuel cell passenger vehicles and 1,200 new fuel cell buses and coaches by 2030, in addition to 900 fuel cell refueling stations.
- Japan H2 Mobility intends to launch at least 24 more hydrogen stations in Japan in fiscal 2020-21. This is part of Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry's target to install 160 hydrogen stations in the fiscal year.
- The Australian government has created a A$300 million ($191.5 million) fund for new hydrogen projects that align with the country's National Hydrogen Strategy.
- This would involve areas such as advancing hydrogen production, developing export and domestic supply chains, establishing hydrogen hubs and backing projects that build domestic demand for hydrogen.
- Singapore companies will be working with Chiyoda and Mitsubishi to evaluate the technical and commercial feasibility of hydrogen usage, and to develop a business case for hydrogen import and utilization in Singapore.
- Jurong Port says it is working with Chiyoda as it believes that the port is well placed to accelerate the development of hydrogen as a viable fuel option for power generation in Singapore's transition to a low-emissions future.
- S&P Global Platts launched hydrogen price assessments in December 2019 based on the value of hydrogen produced in the US and Europe.
- The new suite of Platts hydrogen assessments reflect the value of hydrogen produced at hubs in the US and Europe that are significant regions of consumption: US Gulf Coast, California and the Netherlands.
- The daily price assessments, published in dollars and Euros per kilogram, reflect the production cost of hydrogen based on two different production pathways – the predominant Steam Methane Reforming , or SMR, approach, as well as the growing Proton Exchange Membrane, or PEM, Electrolysis production.
- Platts on April 1, 2020, increased its market coverage to produce daily hydrogen price assessments for Japan. These assessments includes three different production pathways: SMR without Carbon Capture and Storage, PEM Electrolysis and Alkaline Electrolysis.
- Platts assessed the cost of producing hydrogen from Japan on May 28, excluding CAPEX, at Yen 49.78/kg (46 cents/kg) for SMR without CCS, Yen 242.59/kg for Alkaline Electrolysis and Yen 271.87/kg for PEM Electrolysis.
- Platts assessed the cost of producing hydrogen from Northern California, US, on May 28, excluding CAPEX, at 57 cents/kg for SMR without CCS, $1.60/kg for Alkaline Electrolysis and $1.80/kg for PEM Electrolysis.
- Platts assessed the cost of producing hydrogen from Netherlands, on May 28, excluding CAPEX, at Eur 1.0733/kg for Alkaline Electrolysis and Eur 1.1994/kg for PEM Electrolysis. The cost, excluding CAPEX and carbon, was Eur 0.2193/kg for SMR without CCS.