How to develop the hydrogen energy industry in a healthy and orderly manner

  In the process of global energy transition and carbon neutrality, hydrogen energy plays an irreplaceable role.

my country has a good foundation for hydrogen production and a large-scale application market, and the hydrogen energy industry is showing a positive development trend.

In 2022, the National Development and Reform Commission and the National Energy Administration jointly issued the "Medium and Long-Term Plan for the Development of Hydrogen Energy Industry (2021-2035)", which made a top-level design for the development of the hydrogen energy industry from a strategic level.

In this issue, experts are invited to discuss the healthy and orderly development of the hydrogen energy industry.

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  Xu Xiangmei, director of the theory department and researcher of this newspaper

my country's hydrogen energy industry has entered a window of rapid development

  Moderator: What is the development history of my country's hydrogen energy industry?

  Liu Yi (Vice President of Tsinghua Sichuan Energy Internet Research Institute): Hydrogen energy is a vital component of the future zero-carbon energy system, and is currently the only means of large-scale cross-seasonal storage of renewable energy.

Among them, green hydrogen is the only means for deep decarbonization of many industries, including the industrial fields represented by petrochemicals, chemicals, and steel, the construction industry represented by cooling and heating supply, and the transportation industry represented by heavy trucks, shipping, and aviation.

The reduction in the cost of renewable energy, advances in green hydrogen production and application technology, and the global "dual-carbon" transition requirements have promoted the rapid development of green hydrogen.

Major economies such as the European Union, the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, Japan, and South Korea have launched hydrogen energy development strategies.

  Before the "14th Five-Year Plan", hydrogen fuel cell vehicles were the focus of hydrogen energy development.

In 2000, my country officially launched the research and development of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.

Subsequently, hydrogen fuel cells and technologies were successively included in policy planning plans such as "Energy-saving and New Energy Vehicle Industry Development Plan (2012-2020)" and "Energy Technology Revolution Innovation Action Plan (2016-2030)".

In particular, "promoting the construction of facilities such as charging and hydrogenation" was written into the 2019 "Government Work Report".

After years of hard work, my country has initially mastered the core technologies in the fields of hydrogen fuel cell stacks and their key materials, power systems, vehicle integration and hydrogen energy infrastructure, and has cultivated leading companies such as Yihuatong and Reshaping Shares. It has become a relatively mature application field of hydrogen energy.

The declaration of fuel cell demonstration city clusters started in 2020 has further promoted the development of the hydrogen fuel cell vehicle industry.

According to the plans released by each city group, 11 key provinces (autonomous regions and municipalities) including Beijing, Shanghai, Shandong and Inner Mongolia will realize the application and promotion of a total of more than 80,000 fuel cell vehicles in 2025.

In 2021, my country's annual sales of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles will be 1,881, and 264 hydrogen refueling stations will be built.

  2020 is an important year for the development of my country's hydrogen energy industry.

Hydrogen energy was written into the "Energy Law of the People's Republic of China (Draft for Comment)" for the first time, officially entering the energy system legally.

With the establishment of the "dual carbon" goal and the "1+N" system, my country's hydrogen energy planning has expanded from fuel cells to energy, industry, construction and other fields.

The carbon peak and carbon neutral "1+N" series of policy documents released since 2021 all involve hydrogen energy, but the most clear and accurate positioning is the "Medium and Long-Term Plan for the Development of the Hydrogen Energy Industry (2021-2035)" , that is, from the production side: hydrogen energy is an important part of the future national energy system; from the consumption side: hydrogen energy is an important carrier for energy-using terminals to achieve green and low-carbon transformation; from the industrial side: the hydrogen energy industry is a strategic emerging industry and the key development direction of the future industry.

  Subsequently, hydrogen energy industry policies were introduced intensively in various places, and nearly 30 provinces and municipalities directly under the Central Government issued relevant policy plans for hydrogen energy development.

Most provinces (autonomous regions and municipalities) incorporate hydrogen energy development plans into the new energy vehicle industry, overall energy development, strategic emerging industry development or regional "14th Five-Year Plan" plans. Five provinces (Beijing, Shandong, Sichuan, Hebei, and Inner Mongolia) ( District, city) has specially issued the overall hydrogen energy industry development plan and policy, and the focus has shifted from transportation to multi-field expansion.

From the perspective of regional layout, each locality combines top-level design and its own resource endowment to implement hydrogen energy policy, and strive to become the leader in the segmented field.

There are 16 fuel cell system companies, 13 home appliance stack companies, 13 membrane electrode companies and other fuel cell related industry chain companies in Guangdong, forming a fuel cell industry cluster, but hydrogen resources are relatively lacking, so the area represented by Foshan has been Deeply cultivate high value-added fuel cell products, and promote the development of the industry through research and development subsidies for key components and hydrogen refueling station construction subsidies; Inner Mongolia, Ningxia and other places have abundant renewable energy and hydrogen energy application scenarios, and governments at all levels actively support the scenery Integrated development of hydrogen production, and carry out a number of green hydrogen demonstration projects such as "multi-energy complementation + hydrogen", "source network load storage + hydrogen"; Beijing, Shanghai and other places have abundant industrial by-product hydrogen and a large number of scientific research institutes, suitable for The comprehensive development of the hydrogen energy industry and the development of cutting-edge technologies have introduced a number of measures to reward and subsidize hydrogen energy R&D units and scientific research achievements.

  It should be noted that the application of hydrogen energy in new fields such as energy storage, power generation and industry in my country is still in the early stage of development.

In order to do a good job in corresponding technical research, in 2021, the "Notice on Organizing and Carrying out the Identification of the First Batch of National Energy R&D and Innovation Platforms during the "14th Five-Year Plan" and "The 14th Five-Year Plan for Industrial Green Development" will be issued successively to encourage hydrogen energy and renewable energy. The coordinated development of renewable energy will promote the key technology research and application of hydrogen energy in chemical, metallurgical and other industries.

A batch of green hydrogen application projects are about to land, which is a good start for promoting the diversified utilization of hydrogen energy and steadily building a hydrogen energy industry system.

  my country's hydrogen energy industry has entered a window of rapid development. Focusing on production, consumption, industry and other aspects, the development of hydrogen energy industry has entered "from hydrogen fuel to hydrogen energy to multi-field expansion. The regional layout emphasizes overall planning, adapting measures to local conditions, and highlighting key points. The new stage of industrial development is market-led, innovation-driven, and perfected and standardized".

The global hydrogen energy industry accelerates the layout

  Moderator: What is the utilization and development trend of hydrogen energy in the world?

What are the characteristics of the development of my country's hydrogen energy industry?

  Wei Suo (Chairman of the Hydrogen Energy Branch of China Industrial Development Promotion Association): The global energy structure is changing to a new energy system dominated by clean energy. As one of the most promising clean energy sources, hydrogen energy can effectively solve the problem. The consumption problem faced by the large-scale development of renewable energy, on the other hand, is also an effective path to achieve large-scale deep decarbonization of transportation, industry, and construction.

Countries are actively deploying the hydrogen energy industry. 20 countries and regions around the world have released hydrogen energy development strategies. The development of the hydrogen energy industry shows the following trends.

  The wave of hydrogen fuel cell industrialization is accelerating.

After nearly 30 years of continuous research and development, fuel cells have made breakthroughs in energy efficiency, power density, and low-temperature start-up, and a new wave of fuel cell vehicle industrialization is imminent.

International leading companies have launched commercial deployments of fuel cell stacks, catalysts, proton exchange membranes and fuel cell vehicles, and the fuel cell industry is shifting from small-scale demonstration to large-scale commercial application.

  Low-carbon hydrogen energy presents a huge space for development.

At present, hydrogen production from traditional fossil energy is still the main method of hydrogen production, accounting for more than 78% of global hydrogen production, but the speed of low-carbon hydrogen production replacing traditional energy production is accelerating.

Low-carbon hydrogen production technologies including blue hydrogen and green hydrogen are developing rapidly. Major energy companies around the world tend to use carbon capture, storage and utilization technology (CCUS) for hydrogen production from fossil energy and by-product hydrogen as the transition stage to green hydrogen. In 2021, the global low-carbon hydrogen production capacity will reach 550,000 tons/year, and the newly added electrolysis hydrogen production equipment has an operating scale of 468MW (megawatts).

In the context of global energy conservation and emission reduction, the replacement of fossil energy by "renewable energy + hydrogen energy" has become an important direction of energy transformation. According to incomplete statistics, as of 2021, there will be about 500 hydrogen energy projects in the world, of which about 120 are in Green hydrogen projects are built, and the total scale of gigawatt-level green hydrogen projects in global planning reaches 144.1GW (installed capacity).

  Storage and transportation technology has become the key to the development of the hydrogen energy industry chain.

From the perspective of global hydrogen storage and transportation technology, it is mainly in the form of pipeline, high-pressure gaseous state, and low-temperature liquid state. Countries rely on existing industrial technologies and foundations to adopt different storage and transportation methods.

Europe focuses on the development of pipeline hydrogen transportation, and uses the existing natural gas infrastructure to gradually build a pan-European hydrogen pipeline network. Hydrogen pipeline, operating more than 15 liquid hydrogen plants with a total production capacity of more than 326 tons per day, ranking first in the world; Japan and South Korea are developing transoceanic transportation supply chains for organic compounds, liquid ammonia and liquid hydrogen.

  The construction of hydrogen refueling stations is progressing steadily.

The construction of the global hydrogen refueling network has accelerated. By 2021, more than 800 hydrogen refueling stations will be built around the world, 30% of which are liquid hydrogen refueling stations, mainly in Japan and the United States. my country's 35MPa (vehicle hydrogen storage bottle pressure level) commercial vehicle hydrogenation station and hybrid hydrogenation station layout speed ranks first in the world.

From the perspective of the development strategies of various countries, it is expected that the number of hydrogen refueling stations in the world will exceed 4,500 in 2030, forming a diversified and networked hydrogen energy infrastructure system.

  The application field of hydrogen energy is gradually expanding.

With the rapid development of industrial technology, the attributes of hydrogen energy have gradually become clear, and it is expected to be fully applied in hydrogen metallurgy, green hydrogen industry, hydrogen energy storage, integrated energy, and smart energy systems.

At the same time, the international hydrogen energy standard system is becoming more and more perfect. As of 2021, the current ISO (International Organization for Standardization) hydrogen energy technology standards will be 89, mainly involving hydrogen energy storage and transportation, hydrogen energy safety, hydrogen energy detection and test methods, and hydrogen energy production equipment. and key components in the filling process; 26 current IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) fuel cell technical standards, mainly focusing on fuel cell terminology, fuel cell modules and the safety, related tests and test methods of different types of fuel cells.

  In recent years, my country has initially formed a relatively complete hydrogen energy industry chain, the level of autonomy has increased rapidly, and hydrogen energy technology can basically support the development of the industry.

Specifically, first, the policy system has been continuously improved.

At present, the construction of two batches of fuel cell demonstration city clusters has been launched, and a series of policies to support industrial development such as "Hydrogen Entering Thousands of Homes" have been introduced successively. Provinces (autonomous regions and municipalities) have deployed hydrogen energy industries according to local conditions, and a total of 164 relevant policies have been issued.

The second is the rapid growth of industrial scale.

In 2021, my country's total hydrogen production will reach 33 million tons, and the application scenarios will be further expanded. The number of fuel cell vehicles in the transportation field is nearly 9,000, and the application in the fields of industry, construction and distributed energy is accelerating.

Third, continuous breakthroughs in hydrogen energy technology research and development.

In the process of hydrogen production, renewable energy electrolysis of water is the main development direction. my country's lye hydrogen production technology is the world's leading technology, and the proton exchange membrane hydrogen production technology is accelerating its development; in the storage and transportation process, the current hydrogen transportation is mainly 20MPa high-pressure gaseous storage and transportation. , pipeline hydrogen transportation, liquid hydrogen storage and transportation technology and equipment are in the stage of research and development and verification, compound hydrogen storage is applied in local areas; application links, rapid breakthroughs in the field of hydrogen fuel cells, catalysts, proton membranes, carbon paper, membrane electrodes, stacks, etc. A number of technologies have been localized.

Compared with the international advanced technology, my country still has a certain gap in the equipment and product performance, service life and manufacturing process in all aspects of hydrogen energy, especially high-performance materials and precision manufacturing components still have the phenomenon of "stuck neck". , technical level, material research and development, production technology, patents and standard output, etc. still need to strengthen innovation research.

  Overall, the international hydrogen energy industry is still in the cultivation period.

Although my country started late, it has developed rapidly. It has the ability and conditions to rapidly promote the large-scale application of hydrogen energy and iterative upgrading of technologies. It has a huge market space and is expected to reach the international advanced level by 2030.

Clearing the blockages in the industrial chain around green hydrogen supply

  Moderator: As an emerging industry, what is the prospect of hydrogen energy terminal application, and what bottlenecks still need to be broken?

  Liu Jian (Associate Researcher of the Energy Research Institute of the National Development and Reform Commission): The transformation of energy structure is the main line of promoting the "dual carbon" goal. We need to simultaneously promote the revolution of energy production and consumption. It is necessary to increase the electrification rate of end-use energy as much as possible, thereby minimizing the consumption of fossil energy.

However, renewable energy power, mainly wind power and solar power, has problems of intermittency and volatility. It is difficult to directly replace the final energy consumption of fossil energy as industrial raw material, transportation fuel and high-quality heating with electricity.

With the characteristics of high energy density, easy large-scale storage, and many application scenarios, hydrogen energy not only provides large-scale long-term energy storage for a high proportion of new energy power systems, but also provides a new option for decarbonization of energy-consuming terminals.

In the future high-proportion renewable energy system, green hydrogen and green electricity can complement each other's advantages and jointly help expand the value of renewable energy from the power system to the entire energy system.

  In recent years, with the advancement of fuel cell vehicle pilot projects and the continuous increase in the scale of capital investment, the technical level of domestic fuel cell core components and system integration capabilities have been significantly improved.

In contrast, the current production of hydrogen energy mainly relies on coal, natural gas and other fossil energy "gray hydrogen", while the supply of green hydrogen based on renewable energy still has blockages in the production, storage, transportation, and processing links, which need to be improved from Breakthroughs in technology, standards and management.

  The first is to focus on the shortcomings of the green hydrogen supply chain and strengthen core technology research.

At present, the cost of alkaline water electrolysis equipment is low, but there are disadvantages in the adaptability of fluctuating power supply, energy consumption, land occupation, and maintenance cost.

Proton exchange membrane (PEM) pure water electrolysis has strong adaptability to fluctuating power sources, but at present, there are relatively few domestic enterprises that develop and manufacture PEM pure water electrolysis equipment, and the economies of scale are insufficient.

High-temperature solid oxide electrolysis has high conversion efficiency, but it is still in the stage of technology research and development and demonstration.

Geological hydrogen storage and electricity production of fuel/raw materials are important directions for large-scale long-term storage of hydrogen energy. The research on hydrogen energy storage in my country started relatively late, and there is still a gap between the number and technical level of hydrogen energy storage projects and the international advanced level.

It is still in the exploratory stage in terms of metal hydrogen storage, organic hydrogen storage and synthetic ammonia hydrogen storage, and the application prospects are quite uncertain.

Therefore, it is recommended to focus on low-cost, high-flexibility, and high-efficiency electrolytic water hydrogen production technology, strengthen the seamless connection between electrolytic water hydrogen production and upstream fluctuating renewable energy power generation and downstream green hydrogen production processes, and reduce the carbon intensity of final chemical products. .

Increase the research and development of key materials for fuel cells and reduce the dependence of fuel cells on rare metals.

Evaluate the potential of geological hydrogen storage resources, and conduct in-depth research on the feasibility and economics of long-term hydrogen energy storage.

Continuously improve the independent innovation capability of key technologies, and build a green hydrogen technology chain with completely independent intellectual property rights.

  The second is to increase coordination among industries and improve the green hydrogen supervision and standard system.

Hydrogen energy is a hazardous chemical, and the hydrogen production site needs to be built in a chemical park. The nature of the commercial land for hydrogen refueling stations and the industrial land for hydrogen production have not been reconciled. The construction and operation of renewable energy hydrogen production and integrated production, storage, and addition stations face obstacles.

At present, the commercialization of 40MPa high pressure and liquid hydrogen is slow, and there is a lack of relevant standards and specifications.

It is recommended to clarify the centralized management department of green hydrogen production, storage and transportation, application and other links as soon as possible, improve relevant management regulations and regulations, and formulate unified, complete and coherent hydrogen production station, hydrogen refueling station construction and operation approval policies and procedures.

Accelerate the revision of existing hydrogen-related standards and specifications, refine and improve the design of hydrogen energy standards in terms of general safety requirements, hydrogen-facing materials, hydrogen sealing, explosion-proof, etc., and establish and improve technical product standards including testing, measurement and after-sales service guarantees system.

  The third is to take multiple measures to reduce the cost of green hydrogen supply.

The cost of electricity is the core factor affecting the economics of hydrogen production by electrolysis. At present, the cost of hydrogen production using grid electricity is much higher than that of coal production.

Although the use of renewable energy to abandon electricity to produce hydrogen can reduce the price of hydrogen production, the duration of renewable energy abandonment is affected by uncertain factors such as new energy processing characteristics and grid peak shaving capacity.

In terms of storage and transportation, high-pressure hydrogen tube bundles are used for transportation. The scale of hydrogen transportation is small and the unit cost is high. Large-capacity and long-distance hydrogen storage and transportation such as hydrogen pipelines, high-pressure cryogenics, liquid hydrogen, and ammonia storage have problems such as high investment and large losses.

It is recommended to comprehensively consider the actual economic level of green hydrogen production, storage, transportation, and addition, and research and formulate transitional support policies for upstream green hydrogen supply, such as taxation and electricity price concessions, to reduce the cost of hydrogen consumption by end users.

Accelerate the construction of carbon trading markets in high energy-consuming industries such as steel and chemical industries, and include green hydrogen in carbon market transactions.

Formulate a timetable for the introduction of liquid hydrogen and pipeline hydrogen transportation, and accelerate the formation of large-scale, long-distance, and low-cost hydrogen transportation solutions.

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