The idea of integration promotes the development of the hydrogen energy industry.

 Tuesday, 08 September 2020  Back

Driven by the energy revolution and the energy transformation, the energy properties of hydrogen have been paid more and more attention, and become an important option for the major energy consumers to replace traditional fossil energy and improve energy security.

At present, hydrogen (power generation, transportation) for energy use in the world is not as high as 3%of consumption, but its unique advantages as energy are increasingly valued, and applications in the energy sector are becoming the core driving force for the rapid development of the global hydrogen industry.

China has the resources, technology and market conditions needed for the development of the whole industry of hydrogen energy, should be in accordance with the short-term development of ash hydrogen, medium-term development of blue hydrogen, long-term development of green hydrogen thinking, through the fossil energy production and distribution areas to create a "carbon-free city", in the renewable energy production area to create a "green hydrogen economic belt" model, supporting relevant industrial policies, mobilize the enthusiasm of market subjects, promote better and faster development of China's hydrogen energy industry.

At the national level, the world's major energy consumers have elevated hydrogen energy to the level of national energy strategies.

The U.S. has been focusing on hydrogen energy since the 1970s, and in2014, the U.S. issued the Comprehensive Energy Strategy, which defines the leading role of hydrogen in transportation transformation.

Japan pioneered the exploration of hydrogen as an energy source, establishing the Hydrogen Energy Association in 1973 to guide research and development of hydrogen energy technologies, launching the Japan Re-Recovery Strategy in2013 to elevate the development of hydrogen energy to the national policy level, and the concept of achieving a "hydrogen energy society" in2014 and the Basic Hydrogen Energy Strategy in 2017 to develop a concrete action plan to achieve this goal.

South Korea sees hydrogen energy as a grasping hand in safeguarding its national energy security and promoting economic development, and in2018 explicitly identifies the "hydrogen energy industry" as one of the three strategic areas of investment for innovative growth, andin 2019 issues the "Road map for hydrogen energy economic development", which sets out the development goals of building the world's highest level of hydrogen energy economy with hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and fuel cells as the core.

The deep-rooted environmental awareness of EU countries is an important guarantee for the development of their hydrogen energy industry. In 2019, the European Fuel cell and hydrogen energy consortium released the European Hydrogen Energy Road map: a sustainable path to Energy Transformation in Europe, presenting a road map for hydrogen energy development for 2030and2050;

China launched the first hydrogen energy "973" project in 2001, and since then, the "Energy Saving and New Energy Vehicle Technology Roadmap" and"13th Five-Year Plan" for Scientific and Technological Innovation in the Transportation Field have put forward the hydrogen energy industry development planning and support measures from different aspects;In 2019, the National Bureau of Statistics published the Energy Statistics Reporting System, which for the first time included hydrogen in2020 energy statistics; The implementation of the National Economic and Social Development Plan and the report of the 2020 Draft National Economic and Social Development Plan clearly state that "the national strategic plan for the development of the hydrogen energy industry" is formulated.

From the industry level, at present, upstream hydrogen production has a relatively mature large-scale production technology (fossil raw material hydrogen production) and a clear long-term development direction (renewable energy electrolytic water hydrogen); However, this does not in any way affect the enthusiasm for hydrogen energy use. Currently, a number of hydrogen energy projects are under way worldwide, covering the whole hydrogen industry chain (see table below).

At the corporate level, the big international oil companies are all involved in the hydrogen energy field. BP applied for its first hydrogen fuel cell patent as early as 1978, participated in a number of hydrogen energy demonstration projects around the world, and partnered with DaimlerChrysler and Ford to develop advanced fuel cell technology, and built China's first hydrogenation station in Beijing. Shell began full-scale efforts in the field of hydrogen energy in 2013, partnering with Japan's Iwaka Industries and Japan Power Development Corporation to convert Low-Quality lignite into hydrogen in Australia and developing liquid hydrogen transport vessels in cooperation with Kawasaki Heavy Industries to ship the hydrogen produced after liquefaction to Japan. In 2017, Shell and Toyota formally entered into a partnership agreement to build seven hydrogenation stations in California and increase the number of 100 stations by 2024.

Chinese enterprises are also actively laying out the field of hydrogen energy. In 2018, Sinochem Group established Sinochem International Hydrogen Energy and Fuel Cell Science and Technology Innovation Center, specializing in hydrogen fuel cells, its new energy business is said to have entered a strategic breakthrough and breakthrough stage;

Compared with foreign enterprises, China's petrochemical enterprises have not been substantially involved in the field of hydrogen energy, but also lack of the corresponding top-level design and medium- and long-term development planning. China's enterprises should seize the national hydrogen energy field of the relevant legislation gradually perfect, encourage the support policy gradually take the opportunity to "14th Five-Year Plan" as the grasp, hydrogen as an energy product from the company's overall business development and industrial layout of the top-level design, to promote better and faster development of the hydrogen energy industry.

Build a hydrogen energy "carbon-free city" and "green hydrogen" economic belt.

1. Create a "carbon-free city" for the sun.

Rizhao Port in Shandong Province is an important coal export port in China, with the domestic berth sofiest, berth capacity of 150,000 tons of coal dedicated berths 2 and 50,000 tons of coal dedicated berths 1, through the capacity of more than 45 million tons, creating a national record of 9486 tons / hour coal loading;

In terms of equipment manufacturing, Shandong Province is one of the most powerful provinces in China's equipment manufacturing capacity, Qingdao, Weifang, Jinan and other places have a strong comprehensive strength of industrial equipment and special equipment manufacturing enterprises, the distance between Rizhao Port and these areas are about 200 kilometers, within its radiation range, and it also has a certain capacity for the manufacture of machinery and equipment, can provide support for the manufacture of coal-related hydrogen-related equipment.

From a cost point of view, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are more competitive than conventional vehicles when the cost of filling terminal hydrogen is no more than 40 yuan /kg. Currently, the terminal filling cost of different hydrogen technologies is shown on the right. From the cost comparison, only coal-based hydrogen can replace traditional vehicle fuel economically, natural gas hydrogen economy is poor, electrolytic water hydrogen is completely unable to compete with traditional vehicle fuel. Combined with the unique advantages of the coal distribution center in the Rizhao Port area, the raw material cost should be lower than the national average, and the economy of hydrogen fuel filling in the area will be further enhanced.

Storage and transportation and the market, the distance between Rizhao and Dongying, Binzhou, Qingdao and other Shandong land refining concentrated areas are about 300 kilometers, close to the best distance of pipeline hydrogen transmission, can be part of the hydrogen supply refining. Considering the high carbon emissions of coal-based hydrogen, capture and storage need to be treated, and carbon dioxide is one of the important raw materials to improve the recovery rate of oil fields, and the near-Victory Oilfield can be treated by means of reciprocal cooperation with the oil field. In addition, Rizhao Port and Japan and South Korea across the sea, with its hydrogen energy trade with the geographical advantages.

The above analysis shows that Rizhao has the basis for the development of the whole industrial chain of hydrogen energy through coal-based hydrogen, and if 1% of the coal pass-through capacity per year is used to produce 125,000 tons of hydrogen, it can produce 125,000 tons of hydrogen, which can power about 1.5 million civilian vehicles per year if it is used as an alternative to conventional gasoline and diesel fuel, and by the end of 2019, the total number of vehicles in Rizhao City will be about 900,000. Consider using the unique advantages of Rizhao in coal resources, through the combined use of coal-based hydrogen and carbon capture and storage technology, to promote hydrogen in transportation, power generation and other fields of coal, fuel and other traditional fossil energy replacement, to create a hydrogen-based "carbon-free city."

2. Build a "green hydrogen" economic belt along the river.

From the long-term global development trend, the use of renewable energy electrolytic water to make hydrogen, that is, "green hydrogen" is the ultimate goal of the development of hydrogen energy , but at present, renewable energy hydrogen production is facing cost bottlenecks.

Of all the renewable energy generation, the cost of hydropower is the lowest. If the hydropower electrolytic water is used near the hydropower station to make hydrogen, the electricity bill according to the equalization cost calculation, then the cost of hydrogen production is about 15 yuan / kg,and natural gas hydrogen production is about the same, and can achieve zero emissions, to obtain a true sense of "green hydrogen".

China has the largest hydropower generation in the world, with a total hydropower capacity of 1.2 trillion kWh in2018, but with the increasing installed capacity of hydropower, the problem of water abandonment is becoming more and more serious, with the amount of water being abandoned in2018 approaching 70 billion kWh. Based on the current production of 1kg of hydrogen electricity is estimated at about 56 kWh, if the hydropower plant is close to the supporting hydrogen production facility, it will be abandoned hydropower for hydrogen production, which can produce about 1.25 million tons of hydrogen. If these hydrogens are sold at RMB20 /kg(the break-even cost of filling stations is approximately RMB40/kg), this is equivalent to an increase of approximately RMB25 billion in output value.

On the other hand, for ship power is also one of the important fields of hydrogen energy, Europe, the United States, Japan and other countries are continuing to carry out marine hydrogen fuel cell-related research. In 2019, China Shipping Group announced the design of the world's first hydrogen fuel pilot ship designed by its own design and development, using four sets of 125kW proton exchange membrane hydrogen fuel cell as the main source of the ship's power supply, supplemented by 4 sets of 250kWh lithium battery batteries, while carrying 35MPa high-pressure hydrogen bottle pack shipping capacity for hydrogen storage fuel for 140 km.

China's Yangtze River main stream and tributaries are distributed in a number of hydropower stations, of which the three gorges on the main stream, Gezhouba and other four hydropower stations annual power generation capacity of more than 200 billion kilowatt-hours, if 1% of which is used for electrolytic water hydrogen production, according to the current production of 1kg hydrogen electricity estimated at 56 kWh, the annual production of hydrogen about 36 million tons. It is possible to pilot the hydrogen and hydrogen-based hydrogen-electricity electrolysis and hydrogenation facilities in Fujian province at the River Hydropower Station, and replace the short- and medium-haul cargo ships in the Yangtze River basin with hydrogen fuel cell cargo ships. The establishment of hydropower hydrogen as the core, hydrogen filling as a link, hydrogen machinery and equipment for extension along the river "green hydrogen" economic belt.

The layout of the hydrogen energy industry chain of petrochemical enterprises is proposed.

2020 is the turning year of China's hydrogen energy industry, hydrogen energy in China's energy system positioning has been basically clear, the understanding of hydrogen energy from the field of new energy vehicles radiation, hydrogen energy industry-wide industrial chain layout of the idea gradually clear, the relevant support and incentive policies are brewing and introduced, for China's petrochemical enterprises layout of the hydrogen energy industry chain provides an opportunity.

Upstream field, coal hydrogen and natural gas hydrogen production is the most mature and economical hydrogen preparation technology, petrochemical enterprises have the advantages of refining hydrogen pre-emptive technology and a certain fossil resource base. In the short term, with the improvement of domestic environmental protection requirements, the quality of refined oil improved in that, the demand for hydrogen used in refineries will continue to grow, large-scale refineries in hydrogen production is more flexible, but small and medium-sized hydrogen production capacity is difficult to meet the needs of large-scale hydrogenation, there may be a large number of procurement of hydrogen. In the long run, electrolytic water hydrogen production, especially the use of renewable energy electrolytic water hydrogen is the trend of industry development, through cooperative financing, joint research and development, application of demonstration form to participate in domestic and foreign related projects, for large-scale, commercial electrolytic water hydrogen production to lay a technical foundation.

Midstream field, on the one hand, hydrogen is prone to escape, and in the air explosion range is wide(4%-74%),is explosive, hydrogen energy industry in the mid-stream storage and transportation links should follow the standards and infrastructure countries and industry associations leading, the active participation of enterprise stoic. On the other hand, Japan and South Korea have already announced clear development routes for the hydrogen energy industry, but their domestic fossil fuel shortage and the demand for imports will increase significantly in the short and medium term, with Japan planning to import 20-30 billion cubic meters of hydrogen from overseas by 2030. China's petrochemical enterprises can rely on the ri'nare "carbon-free city" and other national demonstration zone projects, in the Bohai port layout of hydrogen plant, the use of geographical advantages to develop hydrogen international trade with Japan and South Korea.

Downstream field, hydrogen in the field of transportation to oil alternative rely on hydrogen fuel cell and hydrogen internal combustion engine promotion and use, at present in both aspects are in the initial stage, with Europe, the United States, Japan and South Korea have a large gap. Domestic related energy enterprises can combine upstream resources and equipment manufacturing advantages, increase the research and development of hydrogen fuel cells and hydrogen power equipment.

In addition, the eastern coastal area is currently the most concentrated area of hydrogen fuel cell development in China, can cooperate with the national new energy vehicle promotion policy, accelerate the construction of "oil, electricity, hydrogen, gas" joint construction station, but also actively participate in the "green hydrogen" economic belt along the river, in the main hydropower station near the layout of hydrogen production, and hydrogen filling business.

Source: China Economic Weekly.

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