Hydrogen Energy

According to Hong Kong’s Climate Action Plan 2050 released in October 2021, green hydrogen energy is in its medium-term decarbonisation targets. It is also mentioned that the uncertainty of the technology will depend on its maturity, reliability and cost-effectiveness for large-scale applications.

Summary:

The Government of Hong Kong announced plans to formulate the Strategy of Hydrogen Development, focusing on production, storage, transportation, and safety of hydrogen energy. The aim is to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. The Strategy will align with the National Hydrogen Plan and international standards. Legislative amendments will cover hydrogen fuel safety. Trial projects on hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and generation are underway. The government supports R&D in green technologies. The proposed floating solar system at Plover Cove Reservoir will supply electricity to waterworks facilities without surplus for grid feeding. Consideration for expanding to High Island Reservoir is subject to cost-effectiveness.

In essence, Hong Kong is strategically moving towards hydrogen energy development while considering practical applications and integration with renewable energy sources like solar power.

Establishing standards and certification systems for hydrogen energy and green hydrogen production is crucial for promoting low-carbon transformation and international cooperation. While ISO has a carbon emission calculation standard, there’s no globally recognized certification system for hydrogen energy yet. ISO is working on a greenhouse gas emission standard for hydrogen. China’s National Hydrogen Plan highlights the importance of quality certification for hydrogen energy. The SAR Government aims to collaborate with stakeholders and align with international and Mainland China’s standards to develop a certification system for hydrogen energy in Hong Kong, fostering its application and long-term development.

     As a secondary carrier of energy, hydrogen energy possesses the “clean” trait of traditional renewable energy sources and has a wide range of applications, making it one of the highly regarded new energy sources in pursuance of the target to achieve carbon neutrality before 2050. Hydrogen energy can be used in transportation, power generation and energy storage, as well as construction site equipment. In the field of transportation, it is particularly relevant to the green transformation of commercial vehicles and heavy goods vehicles. The Medium and Long Term Plan for the Development of Hydrogen Energy Industry (2021-2035) (National Hydrogen Plan) jointly issued by the National Development and Reform Commission and the National Energy Administration in March 2022 recognises hydrogen fuel as an important component of the national energy system in the future. The Chief Executive announced in this year’s Policy Address that we will formulate the Strategy of Hydrogen Development in Hong Kong in the first half of next year, and commence the preparatory work for legislative amendments pertinent to the production, storage, transportation and application of hydrogen energy with a view to introducing an amendment bill into the Legislative Council in 2025, in order to foster a conducive environment for the development of hydrogen energy in Hong Kong.

Above was Q&A to question posed to the Secretary for Environment and Ecology, Mr Tse Chin-wan, in the Legislative Council on December 13, 2024.

The following are comments from other energy experts globally and their views on the sector:

I come from an energy sector, where I see enormous opportunities associated with the low-carbon energy future, from integrating renewables and electric vehicles to hydrogen energy. Substituting fossil fuel-based energy and heat in some of the most energy intensive industries with low or zero-carbon hydrogen energy is currently unviable in most places. Therefore, commercializing hydrogen energy with low-cost production technologies and delivery systems would hold the key. At the same time, lowering the market risks for the new market participants with the help of new and innovative business models and supporting regulations would be crucial in unlocking the business opportunities for the net zero future.

I am energy expert with over 25 years of research and consulting experience in three geographic regions with expertise in identifying and addressing economic, policy, regulatory, technology and sustainability issues relevant to energy transition. I am currently working as a research fellow at KAPSARC, where my research focuses on electricity sector transitions in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states, and development of a regional electricity market in the GCC, Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Prior to joining the KAPSARC, I consulted extensively on policy, regulatory and structural reforms in the energy sector, especially electricity industry in India and Southeast Asia. 

-By Shahid Hasan from Saudi Arabia