Korea’s hydrogen roadmap could cut 10 mn tons of emissions by 2040: study

2019.04.05 13:47:32 | 2019.04.05 13:50:45

[Photo provided by Hyundai Motor Co.]이미지 확대

[Photo provided by Hyundai Motor Co.]

South Korea can reduce up to 10 million tons of carbon emissions a year if it rolls out 2.9 million fuel cell electric vehicles on the road in the next 20 years as planned, a study found.

“Achieving the government’s hydrogen roadmap target could have the effect of cutting 10 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions by 2040,” Kim Jae-kyung, researcher at the state-funded Korea Energy Economics Institute, said at the 2019 Seoul Motor Show on Friday.

Hydrogen cars currently emit an average 73 grams of CO₂ per kilometer. But this could be reduced by one-third to 24 g/km by 2040 through technological advancement in renewable energy, Kim projected.

Replacing diesel cars with hydrogen-powered ones could save 3.6 tons of carbon emissions per vehicle, he added.

Demand for petroleum is expected to decline after peaking at 2030 while hydrogen energy sources would continue to grow beyond 2020, according to Lee Hang-gu, researcher at the Korea Institute for Industrial Economics & Trade.

“Hydrogen vehicles would rise in tandem with electric cars in the short- to mid-term but fuel cells will eventually win out in the long run with the advent of the hydrogen-powered society,” he predicted.

Korea’s largest automaker Hyundai Motor has been betting big on the hydrogen economy. In December, it revealed plans to invest 7.6 trillion won ($6.69 billion) to ramp up production to 500,000 fuel cell cars a year by 2030.

By Lee Jong-hyuk and Kim Hyo-jin

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