Asia Could Become the Heart of Green Hydrogen Production

Like Europe, which has expanded its green hydrogen production over the last year, Asian countries have started to reveal their hydrogen strategies to become major producers over the next decade. As several countries announce renewable energy strategies, green hydrogen, as well as hydrogen produced using carbon capture technologies, are expected to play a major role.

As the world accelerates efforts to transition away from fossil fuels to renewable energy, green hydrogen demand is expected to increase dramatically. Hydrogen demand could reach between 150 to 500 million metric tonnes per year by 2050, depending on global climate targets. Although green hydrogen is currently more expensive to produce than grey hydrogen, derived from natural gas production, the governments’ push to cut carbon emissions is driving up demand. Companies and governments are working on new technologies to reduce the cost of green hydrogen and make the fuel more competitive.

India announced a new green hydrogen strategy last year, but still the country’s technology to produce the clean fuel is in its infancy. The fact that India has grown its solar industry substantially in the last decade gives hope that the same could be possible for green hydrogen. India currently has 50GW installed solar capacity, and added a record 10GW in 2021 alone.

India’s new green hydrogen strategy sets out a target of 5 million tonnes of production by 2030 to make the country a green hydrogen hub. Several investments and initiatives have been seen recently, the biggest of which is a $75 billion investment from Reliance Industries in the green energy market including green hydrogen.

Moreover, in April Greenko group and Belgium-based John Cockerill agreed on the construction of a 2GW hydrogen electrolyzer gigafactory in India. When completed, it will be the biggest in the world outside of China. The Indian Oil Corporation also announced a partnership with two private firms for green hydrogen production. European governments have also set their sights on the potentail in Asia as Germany announced an agreement for German-Indian hydrogen cooperation.

India has a great potential to produce renewable energy required to produce green hydrogen with 7,500 kilometers of coastline and an abundance of sun. Germany and India are now expected to create a task force, which will develop a road map for the development of the green hydrogen industry and how that will look for the two countries.

Modi stated during the COP26 climate summit last year that India expected $1 trillion from the world’s developed nations as climate finance. Modi believes India could become a green energy hub to meet both domestic and overseas clean energy demand.

Japan has also been working to develop its hydrogen market, especially regarding fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV) that run on hydrogen. Japan first stated its ambition to become a “hydrogen society” in 2015 and has issued hydrogen strategies in recent years with the aim of reaching 800,000 FCEV sales and building 1,000 fueling stations by 2030. In addition, hydrogen is a pivotal part of Japan’s Strategic Energy Plan. However, Japan’s strategy remains largely centered around the use of blue hydrogen, which is derived from fossil fuels.

China has previously announced an ambitious hydrogen target that aims to produce between 100,000 and 200,000 tonnes of green hydrogen a year by 2025. In order to reach that target, China needs new technologies and breakthroughs in the green energy industry.

While China is the world’s biggest producer of hydrogen currently with 33 million tonnes a year, most of its output comes from natural gas. This is at most part because of the higher cost of green hydrogen. Although its aims for green hydrogen are ambitious, China will need to invest heavily in the development of new technologies and techniques if it hopes to boost its green hydrogen output substantially over the next decade.

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