In its road map announced last week, the South Korean government said it would diversify the hydrogen supply portfolio, increase the supply volume and lower the market price of hydrogen. It was also announced that South Korea will produce 6.2 million units of fuel cell electric vehicles and build 1,200 refilling stations across the country by 2040, according to reports. For more information see the IDTechEx report on Electric Vehicles 2018-2028.
The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy is reported as saying it will also support the industrial and domestic use of fuel cells for electricity and develop hydrogen powered ships, trains and construction machinery. President Moon Jae-in was present at the announcement. The government will start providing subsidies for fuel-cell electric taxis and trucks while working with local governments to increase the number of fuel-cell electric buses to 2,000 by 2022. It also plans to start replacing all 820 police buses with fuel-cell electric buses in 2021.
President Moon said "For us, it is a golden opportunity that could fundamentally transform the state energy system and secure new growth engines (at the same time). We can take the lead in (creating) a hydrogen economy by connecting (the technology) with traditional manufacturing sectors including the auto, shipping and petrochemical industries."
Korea's shift toward hydrogen as an energy source would also reduce its heavy reliance on imported oil from the Middle East.
"We have world-class technology for hydrogen cars and fuel cells and also have (a significant) production capacity for hydrogen byproducts from petrochemical complexes as well as a (strong) supply network for natural gas across the country," said Vice Energy Minister Jeong Seung-il.
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