Jing Chunmei: Exploring Diversified Applications of Hydrogen Energy

  • Date:2020-01-15
  • Source:CCIEE

In addition to its applications in the automotive industry, experts believe that more attention should be paid to the unique role of hydrogen energy in energy storage. Energy storage technology is expected to change China’s energy system fundamentally and thus, the development of hydrogen energy storage can drive the development of renewable energy and make China’s entire energy system greener and low-carbon.

In recent years, the development of hydrogen energy has attracted wide attention at home and abroad. In China, promoting the construction of hydrogenation facilities was included in the 2019 government work report and advancing the commercialization of hydrogen energy was officially proposed at the National Energy Commission meeting last year. How to position hydrogen energy-based on China’s national conditions and the needs of national energy development strategies? How to prevent disordered competition and over-capacity in the development process? All these questions need to be answered.

At the Forum of “The Impact of China’s Automobile Industry 2019 & China’s Hydrogen Industry Policy Research”, held on January 8, 2020, experts believe that China’s hydrogen energy development is capable of industrialization but we should remain calm and think about it rationally. Moreover, we should promote the development of renewable energy and diversify the applications of hydrogen energy.

Hydrogen energy has four new characteristics.

 “As a clean energy source, the hydrogen energy is playing a more important role in China’s energy system,” said Zhang Xiaoqiang, Executive Vice Chairman of China Center for International Economic Exchanges (CCIEE). In the view of Jing Chunmei, Deputy Director of the Information Center of CCIEE, the hydrogen energy has four new characteristics.

First of all, hydrogen energy is a new member of China’s energy system. Together with electricity, heating, gasoline and diesel, they form the secondary energy source.

Secondly, hydrogen energy is a new technology of energy revolution. For example, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles have fundamentally changed the global supply structure based on internal combustion engines and the petroleum industry. Technological breakthroughs related to hydrogen energy storage and transportation will also drive changes in global energy structure.

Thirdly, hydrogen energy is the new kinetic energy for green development because hydrogen energy is a green, zero-carbon energy source. As an emerging industry, thermal storage and transportation and fuel cells will push forward the formation of a new industrial system and drive the development of fuel, equipment manufacturing and high-end manufacturing.

Finally, the global hydrogen energy is developing rapidly and there is great potential in terms of trade, products, international cooperation, standardization and international governance. As the world’s largest producer and market of hydrogen energy, hydrogen energy will be a great opportunity for China to strengthen international energy cooperation.

“The development of hydrogen energy is very important and its purpose is not just to replace existing energy sources. The initial goal of developing hydrogen energy is not to create a new energy variety only, but to protect the environment and deal with climate change,” said Mao Zongqiang, a university professor and Vice Chairman of the International Hydrogen Energy Association. Many experts agreed that the development of hydrogen energy should be based on energy structure optimization and become an important supplement in the energy structure.

The automobile industry is a breakthrough for hydrogen energy development.

Hydrogen energy is playing an increasingly important role but who will become the “leader” in the development of the hydrogen energy industry? In the view of Zhang Jinhua, Executive Vice Chairman and Secretary-General of the Chinese Society of Automotive Engineers, the automotive industry may become the first breakthrough and the most important industry for hydrogen energy. Dr. Jing Chunmei also believes that the automobile industry can be used as a breakthrough.

Wan Gang, Chairman of the China Association for Science and Technology, pointed out that fuel cell is the key area for hydrogen energy development. At present, the development of hydrogen energy and fuel cell in China faces problems such as lack of coordination at the national level, weak capability in original innovation, outdated management concepts, lack of cost advantages and insufficient international cooperation.

“We must seize the opportunities brought by energy revolution and the transformation and upgrading of the automotive industry, accelerate the development of hydrogen energy and fuel cell industries with Chinese characteristics and encourage cooperation to ensure high-quality development of the fuel cell industry,” said Wan Gang.

He suggested that the development of the hydrogen energy and fuel cell industries should be promoted in the following aspects: adhering to strategic leadership and the principles of innovation-driven and market orientation, accelerating industrial layout, establishing a standard first and expanding international cooperation. Furthermore, we should conduct in-depth analyses of the current technological shortcomings and competitive advantages of the hydrogen fuel cell industry, make a breakthrough in basic materials R&D, achieve coordinated advancement and high-level cooperation.

Zhang Jinhua said that the development progress of fuel cells in the automotive field depends on when can we supply hydrogen energy in a convenient, clean and cost-effective manner.

Promoting the development of renewable energy.

“In addition to its promising future in the automotive industry, we should pay more attention to the unique role of hydrogen energy in energy storage,” said Jing Chunmei. She believes that energy storage technology is expected to change China’s energy system fundamentally. The development of hydrogen energy storage will drive the development of renewable energy, the combination of hydrogen and renewable energy will make China’s entire energy system greener and low-carbon.

The book “China Hydrogen Industry Policy Research” gives a comprehensive evaluation of the hydrogen energy strategies of the United States, Europe, Japan, South Korea and other countries and regions. It also provides us with a systematic analysis of the status quo, technological development, practices and risks of China’s hydrogen energy development. The book suggests that hydrogen energy applications will promote the development of renewable energy.

In this regard, Wan Gang recommended that we should include hydrogen energy development in China’s national energy strategy system and clarify its position in the energy system. Hydrogen energy, hydropower, wind power and photovoltaic power should complement each other. We should promote the synergy between electricity and hydrogen, increase the source of hydrogen in renewable energy and improve the share of green hydrogen in energy consumption.

He also pointed out that we should control the pace of hydrogen energy development, use industrial by-products to produce hydrogen energy, optimize the overall layout of the hydrogen energy and fuel cell industries, promote industrial development gradually and allow them to complement each other in different application scenarios.

Generally speaking, the participating experts believe that the application of hydrogen energy should be fully developed in all aspects, a regulatory and standard system should be established as soon as possible, and pilot demonstration should be used to diversify the applications of hydrogen energy.

In addition, Li Yizhong, President of the China Association of Industrial Economics, believes that we must also pay attention to the source of hydrogen energy because it is the foundation of the hydrogen energy industry chain. The hydrogen production must be environment-friendly, economical, safe and energy-efficient.