Guangdong city China
Known for its quarries and quarries in the mountainous city of Guangdong, Yunfu has quietly carved a place in the global supply of hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles, a revolutionary propulsion system that helps the world cut greenhouse gases.
Nation Synergy Hydrogen Power Technology,
At the Guangdong Nation Synergy Hydrogen Power Technology, or Sinosinergy, workers saw the installation of storage bottles and hydrogen fuel stacks in the vehicle before being delivered to Ningxia Province in northwest China during a recent visit.
The vehicle looked like any passenger bus on the road, with front and rear doors, two dozen seats and a standing room. But as it goes, the bus is completely powered by burning hydrogen, producing water vapour as its only byproduct in the process without any carbon dioxide or other climate-changing greenhouse gases.
The rational view of buses heading to Ningxia, one of the poorest regions of China, denies the ambitions of Sinosinergy to adopt hydrogen fuel cells. Marking its seventh birthday on June 30, the company generates 70 percent of China’s fuel cell stacks at the heart of the fuel-cell system.
Activists mounted a hydrogen fuel-cell bus at Sinosinergy’s headquarters in Guangdong, Mayang Province.
At the entrance to the headquarters of Sinosinergy at Yunfu, the show gives a glimpse of the company’s vision and ambition: miniature buses, trucks, trams, passenger cars and ships, aircraft, rockets and 5G telecom base stations can be powered by hydrogen fuel cells. The prospective company drives around 5,000 vehicles worldwide using its stacks, or one in every two fuel-cell vehicles in China with a 10 percent global market share.
“The hydrogen industry has evolved into the early stage of commercialization and industrialization,” Cynthiazhu Zhu, international head of cyano surgery, told the South China Morning Post. “Like the improvement of the lithium-ion battery enterprise, the improvement of the hydrogen enterprise can’t take place without a green and powerful regulatory framework, coverage assist and era advancement.”
Miniature-scale models of the hydrogen supply chain at Sinosinergy’s headquarters in Yunfu, Guangdong Province.
United Nations IPCC
According to projections by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), global greenhouse gas emissions should peak by 2025 to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius by this century. It should be reduced by 43 percent by 2030 before reaching net neutrality in the early 2050s.
As the momentum of saving Earth from climate change intensifies, the world is racing for new energy solutions to reshape our lives and our economy and curb greenhouse gas emissions.
The European Union and 33 regions, including China and Hong Kong, set targets for achieving net-zero emissions, with China setting its net-zero target in 2060.
Here comes hydrogen. As the simplest molecule possible and the most abundant element in the universe, hydrogen is considered the ultimate, non-polluting fuel and energy-storage medium of the future.
Compared to solar and wind, hydrogen energy does not fluctuate or rely on wind or sunlight. Stacked against lithium-ion batteries, hydrogen fuel cells have a high energy storage density, which enables vehicles to move forward before refuelling.
Seeing the benefits of hydrogen, governments around the world have set ambitious plans to accelerate the development of the hydrogen economy. In March, the Chinese government released the country’s first long-term plan for hydrogen from 2021 to 2035. By 2025, China Road should have at least 50,000 hydrogen fuel-cell electric vehicles, six times more than 8,000 units by 2020, according to the plan.
The global market for commercial hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles will balloon to a compound annual growth rate of 34 percent to US $ 20 billion by 2030, supported by policies for clean energy, rapid declining costs of hydrogen technology and products, and strategic planning. According to the McKinsey Centre for Future Mobility.
Export to Malaysia (first Chinese company)
Sinosinergy is capable of producing 20,000 hydrogen fuel-cell stacks annually, making it one of the world’s largest producers. Its stacked vehicles are used in more than 30 cities across China’s 18 provinces, and in 2019 they are the first Chinese company to export Europe-certified hydrogen-powered vehicles – three fuel cell buses – to Malaysia.
He said the company has benefited tremendously from state support and subsidies since it was founded in 2015. The local authorities of Foshan and Yunfu assisted the Synosigner and the two cities decided to develop the local hydrogen industry, including the opening of industrial parks and local hydrogen bus lines.
Sinosinergy with Canada’s Ballard
Sinosinergy embarked on a venture with Canada’s Ballard Power Systems to localise production of hydrogen fuel-cell stacks in China. From there, Sinosinergy repeated its proportions and developed its own technology. With state support, most companies and capital gathered to create a local industrial ecosystem spanning hydrogen production, storage, refuelling and application in the two pioneering cities.
The model of the hydrogen fuel-cell engine developed by Sinosinergy is on display at its headquarters in Yunfu, Guangdong Province.
Guangdong’s hydrogen industry has received much attention from the leadership of the Communist Party, eager to adopt more and more elements of new technology to secure its share in the future. Vice-Premier Hu Chunhua visited the Sinosinergy and Yunfu’s hydrogen industrial estate three times between 2015 and 2017 when he was provincial commissioner in Guangdong.
Since Hydrogen was approved by the Chinese government in 2019, development plans have been issued for at least 23 hydrogen energy and fuel-cell vehicles in 31 provincial levels.
Various city and provincial-level governments have filed petitions to create hydrogen industrial clusters, including Shanghai, Beijing and Guangdong, to win central government infrastructure funding.
Workers install hydrogen tanks in a fuel-cell truck at Sinosinergy’s headquarters in Yunfu, Guangdong province. Photo: Yujie Xue alt =
Sinosynergy has expanded its product portfolio into the hydrogen fuel-cell value chain, from stacks and modules to integrated systems and tools for various end-applications.
In automobiles, Sinosinergy worked with Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com to deliver fuel-cell trucks to serve its nationwide logistics network and helped the Shanghai government launch its hydrogen-powered tram in 2021. It launched fuel-cell powered forklifts in February. In Shanghai with Hamburg-based Jungheinrich, Germany.
Apart from land transport, Sinosinergy has partnered with China Tower and China’s three major telecoms suppliers to develop a standby power supply system for 5G base stations. Sinosinergy signed agreements with Guangdong’s docks to develop hydrogen power solutions for sea transport.
Hydrogen fuel-cell buses are quieter and do not smell like petrol-powered vehicles from internal combustion engines (ICEs), said a driver at the hydrogen refuelling centre near Synosigner’s headquarters.
The fuel-cell bus takes about 10 minutes to fully charge, giving it a driving range of 450 km (280 miles) on a single charge, said the driver, who only gives his surname Zi.
Hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles have the same mileage as ICE vehicles, about three to five times the range of battery-powered vehicles in a full tank, Sinosinergy said. Unlike batteries that are malfunctioning at extreme temperatures, fuel cells can operate at about 30 degrees Celsius below freezing, making them useful in the cold winters of North China. Ningxia, whose temperature can drop to -15 degrees Celsius in January, provides an ideal testing ground for fuel cells.
One of the major impediments to the expansion of fuel-cell vehicles is the high costs of hydrogen. Currently, according to Sinosinergy, the hydrogen used in Yunfu is mainly stored and transported in the form of highly compressed gases.
Distances from manufacturing facilities to refuelling stations, excessive pressure on storage tanks and the effects of Kovid-19 on production supply have increased hydrogen prices in fashion from 70 yuan (US $ 10.4) to 80 yuan. Kg. The average price of petrol in May was approximately 12.80 yuan per gallon.
According to Ankit Sachin, Asia Hydrogen Analyst at S&P Global Plots Analytics, the high “green hydrogen” production cost is a technology for industries in China compared to cheap hydrogen from coal gasification.
It aims to produce 100,000 to 200,000 tonnes of “green hydrogen”, the purest form of hydrogen produced by electrolysis by 2025 annually, compared to the current dominant “grey hydrogen” and cleaner “blue hydrogen” produced using coal and natural gas. A by-product of gas and industrial production, it accounts for almost all hydrogen production in China.
By next year, according to S&P Global Platts Analytics, China will have an annual capacity to produce 300,000 tonnes of green hydrogen.
“With authorities and enterprise assistance, we’re assured that the value of hydrogen will now no longer be akin to present day diesel and petrol prices, however might be even greater competitive,” Sinosinergy said in a statement.
Technological advances in critical components are also crucial to China’s hydrogen development. “Despite recent advances in domestic development, China still relies on imports of basic materials, catalysts, PEM [polymer electrolyte membrane], carbon paper and high-strength carbon fibres,” said Alfred Wang, Ballard’s Asia-Pacific Managing Director. “Greater international collaboration helps lead component localization.”
Policy support from the government is essential for the development of hydrogen currently and in the near term. According to S&P Global Platts Analytics, China has about 7,700 fuel cell vehicles, mainly municipal and heavy duty vehicles, commissioned by local governments and government subsidised companies.
Hydrogen industry – by region of 2020 and 2030
Source: S&P Global Commodity Insights
McKinsey estimates that light commercial vehicles will see a combined annual growth rate of 110 percent per year to cover a quarter of the fuel-cell vehicle market, with hydrogen fuel-cell technology advances, downsizing costs and rising public awareness. In 2030, from a portion of the present.
The central government’s medium and long-term plan, issued in March, could boost China’s hydrogen industry, Sinosirzia Zhu said.
“With the release of a medium and long-time period plan for the improvement of the hydrogen power enterprise, the demanding situations withinside the cost chain, which include production, storage, shipping and refuelling with hydrogen costs, will be addressed in the near future,” she said. “As a result, the hydrogen enterprise will entice sizable funding and assistance from all stakeholders to construct a hydrogen economy.”
Ballard’s Wang said that when renewable hydrogen energy technology matures, it will be applied in large quantities.
“It gradually covers all sectors that can be decarbonized, such as transportation, industry, power generation and raw materials.”
Sources Photo: Yujie Xue alt = /