The Growth of Fuel-Cell Power in China

September 6, 2017

China had developed the world’s first hydrogen-powered tram. IflScience says, “China is investing a substantial amount into green energy and was even a world leader in renewable energy production back in 2013. They generate more wind power than any other country in the world and their contributions accounted for almost 30% of all global investment in clean energy. Now, continuing with their push for clean energy developments, China has just announced the production of the world’s first hydrogen-powered tram.”

In 2001, we saw the beginning of the evolution of hydrogen fuel use in China when the Chinese Academy of Science (CAS) announced it intends to make China globally competitive in the field of hydrogen technology.

Then in 2006, People.com reported, China opened its first hydrogen fueling station, which was operated in a joint venture with British Petroleum (BP). The Chinese partner, SinoHytec, is an enterprise linked to Tsinghua University—which is considered the MIT of China.

In addition, in 2006, three Daimler-Chrysler made fuel cell buses went into trial operation in Beijing and five vehicles made by Tsinghua University were tested.

In 2010, a fleet of more than 50 hydrogen fuel cell shuttle vehicles transported athletes and government officials at the Asian Games and Asian Para Games in Guangzhou City, China.

According to a report from Pike Research, more than 5,200 hydrogen-fueling stations will be operational worldwide by 2020, up from just 200 in 2010, and estimates the market for fuel-cell technology in the Asia-Pacific region will reach $6.7 billion in 2017. Japan, South Korea and China are quickly becoming leaders in the fuel cell industry through their investments in and adoption of the technology.

FuelCellCars.com reported Dec. 2016, “This plan will require China to build 300 hydrogen refueling stations by 2025 and 1,000 by 2030. In China, sales of so-called new energy vehicles—which includes hybrids, battery-electric cars and fuel-cell vehicles—are subsidized with attractive consumer incentives, as well as perks such as free parking and lower license fees.”

When China’s government decides to move, it moves fast, which is witnessed by China leading the world in solar and wind generated energy manufacturing. China also has about half the world’s hydroelectric power plants and is building safer Thorium and uranium pebble-bed reactors besides replacing old-coal burning power plants with new, modern facilities that reduce carbon emissions dramatically. I wrote about this in Doing Mankind a Favor.

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine, Crazy is Normal, Running with the Enemy, and The Redemption of Don Juan Casanova.

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