Using hydrogen to reduce carbon, China's hydrogen energy enters a window of accelerated development
2021-09-15: [Original Article Link].
Hydrogen energy is an important support for achieving carbon neutrality. At the previous China-Arab Energy Cooperation Summit Forum, experts at the meeting believed that China's hydrogen energy industry was on the eve of a large-scale outbreak, although various provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities have successively issued hydrogen energy planning and guidance, however, due to the lack of top-level planning for the entire industry and the imperfect industry standard system, China's hydrogen energy industry is still in the initial stage of development. In the future, the establishment of an independent technology research and development system should be accelerated, improve the industrial chain and promote the large-scale development of the industry.
April this year, the world's largest water electrolysis system green hydrogen project-Baofeng Energy "national solar hydrogen production by water electrolysis comprehensive demonstration project" in the land and resources bureau in the Ningxia production. The project uses solar water electrolysis to produce green hydrogen and green oxygen, and directly supplies chemical systems to replace fossil energy with green hydrogen and green oxygen to produce high-end chemical products, has opened up a with a new energy to replace fossil fuels scientific path of year directly declined by almost 400,000 tons of standard coal, reduce carbon dioxide emissions to about 700,000 tons.
"We are the first in the industry enterprise carbon-neutral, and develop a detailed carbon reduction plan every year will invest 3 billion billion yuan and working to put in place a 20 years were the first to achieve an Enterprise carbon-neutral." Dang Yanbao, chairman of Ningxia Baofeng Group, said.
Without introducing "hydrogen energy", there is no way to enter deep decarbonization. "Green Power + Green Hydrogen" is a powerful weapon to achieve carbon neutrality. More than 100 enterprises in China have issued a road map for carbon neutrality. Therefore, under the carbon-neutral consensus, hydrogen energy has made great progress as an indispensable clean secondary energy.
The reporter learned that at present, China's hydrogen energy industry chain has been gradually rolled out, more and more enterprises into hydrogen energy, more than 1/3 of the central enterprises have been carried out including hydrogen production, hydrogen storage, hydrogenation, the layout of the whole industry chain with hydrogen and other links has achieved a number of technology research and development and demonstration application results. Renewable energy electrolysis hydrogen production projects have been put into operation, hydrogen refueling stations have been put into operation, and the hydrogen fuel cell automobile industry has accelerated the layout...... The hydrogen energy industry continues to heat up.
"China has become the world's largest hydrogen production and consumption country, 2020, hydrogen annual output of up to 25 million tons, initially formed from basic research, applied research to the demonstration and popularization of the all-round development pattern covering hydrogen production, storage and transportation, A complete industrial chain of filling and application." Zhang Yu, vice president and secretary-general of the Hydrogen Energy Branch of the China Association for the Promotion of Industrial Development, said that hydrogen energy can be connected to a variety of energy forms and form a coupled development system. It is an ideal interconnected medium to support the large-scale development of renewable energy, the best choice for large-scale deep decarbonization in areas such as industry and construction.
However, the production of hydrogen in China is mainly gray hydrogen produced through fossil energy such as coal and oil. However, compared with coal to hydrogen, the production cost of green hydrogen is still higher, in the future, as photovoltaic modules decline, the cost of power generation and hydrogen production will fall further. Therefore, from the perspective of the development of the entire hydrogen energy industry, it is still in its infancy. At this stage, it is mainly to do technology accumulation, industrial chain improvement and application demonstration.
"According to our judgment on industrial development, there may be an inflection point of industrial development around 2025. After a certain period of technology accumulation, after 2025, we can have the conditions for commercial promotion, this is a big industry direction." Li Lianrong, Party secretary and chairman of the State Power Investment Hydrogen Energy Company, said.
According to China's hydrogen predicts that to 2025, hydrogen industry output value will reach 1 trillion trillion yuan. To 2050, hydrogen demand will be close to 60 million tons, carbon dioxide emission reduction of about 0.7 billion tons, the hydrogen in the total final energy system accounted for more than 10%, industrial output value reached 12 trillion yuan, become a new growth pole leading economic development.
The "14th Five-Year Plan" is a critical period for the construction of the hydrogen energy industry chain. At present, various provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities have issued plans for the hydrogen energy industry, trying to seize the development opportunities of the industry. Although the blueprint is beautiful, there are many bottlenecks. Industry insiders believe that from the perspective of promoting the development of hydrogen energy technology and large-scale application, the current main factors restricting the development of hydrogen energy cannot be ignored.
First, the country's top-level hydrogen energy special plan has not been released, and there is no big planning guidance. Although there is a consensus on the application of hydrogen energy, more than 20 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities have introduced hydrogen energy plans, but there is a lack of top-level planning for the entire industry, so the future development direction of hydrogen energy and the scale of the entire industry, it is not clear yet.
Second, the industry's standard system is still not sound. Most of the existing standards for hydrogen are concentrated in the chemical industry, which is a constraint on the properties of hydrogen as a raw chemical raw material. From the perspective of energy attributes, the entire Standard system is still under construction.
Third, the current technical system is still incomplete. At present, the entire hydrogen energy technology is in a stage of research and development and application. The complete system of technology has not been established, and it will take some time in the future. In the field of hydrogen production, the technology is relatively mature, but in the downstream application fields such as hydrogen energy vehicles, many key technologies are still in the hands of developed countries such as the United States and Japan. Many materials need to be imported, and the localization rate is relatively low.
Fourth, the current industrial chain has not yet been fully formed, many production capacity has not been completed, and the scale of completed production capacity is actually relatively small. At home and abroad which are all in active development of green ammonia projects, most of which are smaller of the pilot project, it is expected that the capacity of 20,000 tons per year to 60,000 tons.
Fifth, the scale of market promotion is still very small, because many application scenarios are still in the stage of demonstration application, it is not enough to promote the maturity of the entire industry and an improvement in economy. A large part of hydrogen can be used in chemical plants. Hydrogen energy is used as a raw material for chemical production, and only a small part of hydrogen can be used in hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.
Sixth, there are many teams engaged in R & D and manufacturing in the hydrogen energy industry, but the teams are very small, and the leading enterprises with real benchmarking significance have not yet been fully formed.
In 2020, after China's dual carbon target was put forward, the development of hydrogen energy began to accelerate, and in the future, the application scenario of hydrogen energy will become more and more extensive. Some experts at the meeting believed that compared with foreign countries, China's renewable energy hydrogen production technology, on-board high-pressure hydrogen storage and hydrogen transportation, the number of hydrogen refueling station facilities, there is still a big gap in the technology of the core components of fuel cells. In the future, in order to accelerate the large-scale and commercial application of the hydrogen energy industry, it must improve basic research, cutting-edge technology and innovation capabilities, gradually reduce the cost of hydrogen use, and enhance the economy of the industrial chain.
First, it is imperative to establish an independent technology research and development system. Li Lianrong believes that in the future, hydrogen energy should be made into a complementary system with electricity. Under normal circumstances, the hydrogen distribution system and the electricity distribution system remain relatively independent to achieve diversity in energy supply, in an emergency, "electricity is converted to hydrogen" and "Hydrogen is converted into electricity". The current industrial chain is small in scale and there are still many links missing. We must build the entire industrial chain and promote the large-scale development of the entire industry in order to have a huge hydrogen energy economy in the future.
The second is to reduce costs in order to better promote the application. Safety, reliability, high efficiency and economy are the themes of the development of the hydrogen energy industry. Wang Yingge, deputy general manager of Longji Hydrogen Energy Technology Co., Ltd., believes that in areas with better light resources, the technical cost of photovoltaic power generation is close to 7 cents per degree, making full use of the low cost of photovoltaic power, so that green hydrogen is expected to become the cheapest way to produce hydrogen. At present, high electricity prices lead to high hydrogen production costs, and gray hydrogen and non-green electricity Electrolytic Water hydrogen production cannot achieve the goal of carbon reduction. "Green electricity + green hydrogen" will drive down the cost of hydrogen production and effectively overcome the intermittent and storage problems of renewable energy.
The third is to promote the extension of the industrial chain to find new ways of energy transformation. Liao Kuo, general manager of China Machinery and Equipment Engineering (Yinchuan Comprehensive Bonded) Co., Ltd., believes that from green hydrogen to green ammonia, it is a new way to achieve the dual carbon target energy transformation. Green ammonia as a fuel and chemical raw material has great development potential in the future. At present, green ammonia projects are being actively developed at home and abroad, most of which are smaller pilot projects. China Machinery and Equipment Engineering Co., Ltd. first joined the Asia-Pacific "green hydrogen" and "green ammonia" supply chain, and is committed to becoming a contractor for the development of green hydrogen and green ammonia projects in the international market, the company will develop the first "green hydrogen" Synthesis and production "green ammonia" project in the northwest market, so that green ammonia products will enter the international market.
The fourth is to give subsidies to the hydrogen energy industry to accelerate innovation and development. Zhao Rui, director of the Hydrogen Energy Center of the Management Committee of Ningxia Ningdong Energy and Chemical Base, believes that at this stage, in the case of a rapid decline in costs cannot be achieved, the development of the hydrogen energy industry needs strong support from the government, it is recommended to give special subsidies to the green hydrogen project for enterprises to better cultivate the industry. In the field of hydrogen energy application, it is recommended that the transportation authority give certain preferential policies to hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, such as subsidies for car purchase, reduction and exemption of highway tolls, and priority right of passage.
Note: This is auto-translated version of an article meant for Chinese audience. A mature and nuanced reading is suggested.