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Prospects promising despite late start

By Zheng Xin | China Daily | Updated: 2019-04-11 09:12

A bus that runs on hydrogen fuel cells is charged by technicians in Rugao city, Jiangsu. [Photo/Xinhua]

Despite a late start in development, the prospects for the hydrogen industry are promising in China, which has advantages in terms of resources and market scale, said Ling Wen, CEO of China Energy Investment Corp.

As water is the only by-product when hydrogen is produced and consumed, hydrogen fuel has been widely recognized as a clean energy worldwide and has become a major trend in future clean energy development.

China Energy, which has the largest coal-to-hydrogen production capacity globally, aims to further promote hydrogen energy to meet China's commitment to combating climate change, said Ling, who is also a member of the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, the country's political advisory body.

The company has been promoting hydrogen production and utilization in China, including transportation and storage, as well as hydrogen fuel cell manufacturing and hydrogen refueling station construction, he said.

According to Ling, in addition to passenger vehicles, hydrogen could also play a key role in powering heavy trucks used for mining and in ports, logistics vehicles and diesel vehicles.

Hydrogen energy will also have substantial capacity for road and rail traffic, ships and space flight, all of which will provide new opportunities for the company's future development, he said.

According to the Hydrogen Council - a global initiative of leading energy, transport and industry companies with a united vision and long-term ambition for hydrogen energy development - hydrogen is expected to account for almost one-fifth of total final energy consumption by 2050 when deployed at scale.

China Energy, a State-owned company established in 2017 following the merger of China Guodian and Shenhua Group, is now the world's largest coal, thermal power, wind power, coal-to-liquids and coal-to-chemicals producer.

According to Ling, China, which is rich in hydrogen resources with an annual production capacity of more than 25 million metric tons, has great potential for developing hydrogen energy.

The country's huge hydrogen market demand due to the booming growth of new energy vehicles also makes the development of hydrogen in China promising, he added.

China Energy is one of five Chinese members of the Hydrogen Council, together with the State-owned energy giant China Petroleum and Chemical Corp, the world's largest refiner.

The company initiated and sponsored the China National Alliance of Hydrogen and Fuel Cell to promote low-cost hydrogen production and transportation and the establishment of industry standards, such as those regarding hydrogen refueling stations.

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