◎Reporter Cao Xiuying

  100 million tons

  According to forecasts, to achieve the carbon peaking target in 2030, my country's annual hydrogen demand will reach 37.15 million tons; in 2060 to achieve carbon neutrality, the annual hydrogen demand will reach 130 million tons, of which renewable energy hydrogen production ( The scale of green hydrogen) is expected to reach 100 million tons.

  The Beijing Winter Olympics have come to an end. In addition to being an ice and snow feast, this Winter Olympics is also a hydrogen energy event.

  Compared with the Tokyo Olympics where only part of the torch uses hydrogen fuel, the Beijing Winter Olympics will completely replace the torch fuel with hydrogen energy. At the same time, the number of hydrogen-fueled vehicles invested in the Beijing Winter Olympics is about twice that of the Tokyo Olympics.

On the evening of February 4, in the Zhangjiakou competition area of ​​the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, the green hydrogen independently developed by PetroChina also lit the Torch Tower of Prince City.

This is the only torch lit by green hydrogen in this Winter Olympics, and it is the first torch to be fueled by green hydrogen in the nearly 100-year history of the Winter Olympics.

  Green hydrogen has also entered the public eye.

  Green hydrogen is the original intention of developing hydrogen energy

  What is green hydrogen?

  The so-called green hydrogen refers to hydrogen obtained by decomposing water using renewable energy. When it is burned, only water is produced, and zero carbon dioxide emissions are realized from the source. It is a pure green new energy and plays an important role in the global energy transformation.

  Experts explained that although hydrogen energy is a clean and renewable energy source, there is no carbon emission in the process of releasing energy, but the current process of producing hydrogen energy is not 100% "zero carbon".

  Hydrogen is mainly present in water and fossil fuels in the form of compounds on the earth, and hydrogen energy, as a secondary energy source, needs to be extracted through hydrogen production technology.

At present, most of the existing hydrogen production technologies rely on fossil energy and cannot avoid carbon emissions.

According to the source of hydrogen energy production and the emission in the production process, people call hydrogen energy as gray hydrogen, blue hydrogen and green hydrogen respectively.

  Ash hydrogen is hydrogen produced by burning fossil fuels, and carbon dioxide and other emissions will be emitted during the production process.

Currently, the vast majority of hydrogen on the market is grey hydrogen, accounting for about 95% of today’s global hydrogen production.

  Blue hydrogen, which can be produced from fossil fuels such as coal or natural gas, can be carbon neutral by capturing, utilizing and sequestering carbon dioxide by-products (CCUS) during the production process of blue hydrogen.

Although natural gas is also a fossil fuel and also generates greenhouse gases when producing blue hydrogen, thanks to the use of advanced technologies such as CCUS, the greenhouse gases are captured, reducing the impact on the earth's environment and enabling low-emission production.

  "Green hydrogen is the original intention of developing hydrogen energy." Mao Zengqiang, vice chairman of the International Hydrogen Energy Society and professor at Tsinghua University, once emphasized that the development of hydrogen energy is for the "decarbonization" of energy, and "green hydrogen" can only be produced through carbon-free energy. , in order to achieve this goal.

  It can be seen that although all "colors" of hydrogen will play a role in the future, in the final analysis, green hydrogen is the most sustainable and truly carbon-free, so it is also becoming the focus of global hydrogen energy development.

  According to the data, by the end of 2020, there were about 70 green hydrogen projects under construction around the world, of which more than 20 gigawatt (GW)-scale projects had been built.

Last year, Europe also proposed a development goal of building 6GW in 2024 and nearly 40GW of electrolytic green hydrogen capacity in 2030.

  The recent report "Clean Hydrogen Revolution" released by the global investment research department of Goldman Sachs, an international investment bank, believes that clean hydrogen is the key to the global realization of net zero emissions and the key pillar of the energy structure of various countries. Relying on the clean hydrogen path can reduce global greenhouse gas emissions. 15% (20% of CO2 emissions).

According to the report, more than 30 countries around the world have launched hydrogen strategies and roadmaps, promising that by 2030, the installed capacity of clean hydrogen will increase by more than 400 times compared with 2020, and the average annual growth rate of green hydrogen will be increased by 50 times.

  my country's green hydrogen development is in the ascendant

  Before the green hydrogen torch, the development of green hydrogen in my country has already begun to emerge.

  In January 2020, the world's first large-scale solar fuel synthesis demonstration project was successfully tested in Lanzhou New District.

One of the key technologies of this project is the high-efficiency, low-cost, long-life large-scale electrocatalytic water splitting hydrogen production technology developed by the team of Li Can, academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and dean of the School of Chemistry and Materials Science, University of Science and Technology of China.

In October of that year, the world's first integrated device of "Liquid Sunlight Hydrogen Refueling Station" was successfully demonstrated.

At the end of 2021, China's first 10,000-ton-scale photovoltaic green hydrogen demonstration project was officially launched in Kuqa, Xinjiang.

  On December 21, 2020, my country released the white paper "China's Energy Development in the New Era", proposing to accelerate the development of green hydrogen production, storage, and utilization of hydrogen energy industry chain technology and equipment, and to promote the hydrogen energy fuel cell technology chain and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. The development of the industrial chain supports multi-scenario energy storage applications in all energy links, and strives to promote the complementary development of energy storage and renewable energy.

  Zou Caicai, academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and president of PetroChina Shenzhen New Energy Research Institute, introduced that as early as 2012, China Petroleum Exploration and Development Research Institute (hereinafter referred to as PetroChina Research Institute) took the lead in setting up a nanotechnology research and development team. Under the leadership of Dr. Xu, they have carried out research and development of new energy materials and technologies in advance. In 2017, they began to focus on two technical routes, electrolysis water and photolysis water. "In 2020, the unit has re-established a hydrogen energy technology research and development team of more than 20 people, specializing in the preparation of green hydrogen, efficient storage and transportation, and application of special scenarios.

  According to forecasts, to achieve the carbon peaking target in 2030, my country's annual hydrogen demand will reach 37.15 million tons; in 2060 to achieve carbon neutrality, the annual hydrogen demand will reach 130 million tons, of which renewable energy hydrogen production ( The scale of green hydrogen) is expected to reach 100 million tons.

  The relevant person in charge of the New Energy Center of CNPC Exploration Institute said that CNPC Exploration Institute will continue to strengthen the support of basic research on green hydrogen, and focus on basic technologies such as electrolysis of water for hydrogen production, photolysis of water for hydrogen production, solid hydrogen storage and solid oxide fuel cells. , tackle key problems, guide and promote the orderly development of green hydrogen business; formulate green hydrogen project development plans, continue to develop photoelectric catalysts, electrolytic cells, solid metal hydrogen storage and other products, improve photoelectric catalysis, conversion efficiency, and reduce equipment cost; form A series of standards and specifications to promote the large-scale development of green hydrogen.

  "We strive to set up a demonstration project of photovoltaic electrolysis of water for hydrogen production in the oil field as soon as possible, strengthen the layout planning in the entire hydrogen energy industry chain, combine the technology of independent research and development with practice, explore the 'production, learning, research' model, and carry out demonstration applications , forming a complete hydrogen energy technology system with independent intellectual property rights of PetroChina." said the above-mentioned person in charge.

  Need to cross the threshold of technology and cost

  For the PetroChina Research Institute, lighting the only green hydrogen torch for the Beijing Winter Olympics is just the beginning. Similarly, the development of China's green hydrogen industry is still in its infancy.

  Wang Cheng, director of the Hydrogen Fuel Cell Laboratory of the Institute of Nuclear and New Energy Technology of Tsinghua University, pointed out in an interview with the media that in order to further promote the development and application of green hydrogen, efforts should be made to improve related technologies, formulate standards and policies.

  This is also the consensus of industry experts.

  In terms of technology, Wang Cheng believes that the demonstration application of large-scale hydrogen production of alkaline electrolyzers should be promoted to further improve its practicability, develop new electrolytic water hydrogen production technologies such as SPE/SOEC, and tackle key problems in the flexible coupling intermittent and fluctuating electrolytic water hydrogen production systems. Renewable energy engineering and technical problems, and vigorously develop new hydrogen production technologies such as photocatalytic decomposition hydrogen production, thermochemical hydrogen production, biological hydrogen production, and nuclear energy hydrogen production.

  However, in order to truly achieve large-scale and commercial development, high cost is still the main challenge facing the development of the current electrolyzed water hydrogen production technology.

It is understood that the cost of hydrogen production by electrolysis of water is 2-3 times higher than that of steam reforming hydrogen production using coal and natural gas and industrial by-product gas purification.

  Therefore, in order to promote the development of hydrogen production from renewable energy, my country still needs to explore a feasible way to reduce costs. At present, Guangdong, Sichuan and other places have issued relevant policies to provide preferential electricity price policy support for renewable energy hydrogen production projects.

  In terms of standards, at the beginning of last year, the "Standards and Evaluation of Low-Carbon Hydrogen, Clean Hydrogen and Renewable Energy Hydrogen" proposed by China Hydrogen Energy Alliance was officially released and implemented. The certification project has established quantitative standards and evaluation systems for low-carbon hydrogen, clean hydrogen and renewable hydrogen, and guides the transformation of high-carbon emission hydrogen production processes to green hydrogen production processes.