Korean companies call for more active government role in promoting hydrogen

2023.01.25 09:50:02 | 2023.01.26 10:33:40

Korea H2 Business Summit in 2021 [Phoot by Lee Chung-woo]이미지 확대

Korea H2 Business Summit in 2021 [Phoot by Lee Chung-woo]

South Korean companies that have pledged to invest more than 50 trillion won ($40.6 billion) in hydrogen by 2030 are calling for more government policy support to help them adhere to the massive spending plan amid a global energy transition.

According to multiple industry sources on Tuesday, Korean companies’ investments in hydrogen sector are at risk of being delayed or scrapped as the government remains idle in carrying out policies such as introducing a hydrogen power generation market.

The government and the National Assembly in May last year revised the country’s hydrogen law to lay a legal foundation for the hydrogen power generation market and Clean Hydrogen Energy Portfolio Standards (CHPS). The government’s plan involves establishing a bidding market where hydrogen fuel produced by power companies using fuel cell, hydrogen-ammonia blends and hydrogen turbine can be purchased and sold.

The plan was initially aimed at utilizing existing power generation market to create a large-scale hydrogen demand and nurture the industry. Local businesses planned investments in clean hydrogen production and supply sector as well as fuel cell technology and infrastructure establishment in line with the government’s grand scheme.

Major companies in 2021 vowed to spend 43 trillion won in hydrogen business by 2030. Their commitment has recently increased to more than 50 trillion won, according to Korea H2 Business Summit, an industry council for hydrogen economy.

The government, however, has been moving slow in opening up a bidding market for hydrogen power generation.

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy unveiled a plan on opening a hydrogen bidding market last month but it did not go into details about the overall market size and suggested power generation in small scale.

By Lee Yoon-jae and Lee Eun-joo

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