It is believed that the “hydrogen economy” has been given the all-clear after Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince and Prime Minister Bin Salman requested hydrogen energy cooperation with the Korean government.
This assessment is strengthened by the fact that during his tour, Crown Prince bin Salman signed several memorandums of understanding with Korean businesses about their cooperation in the development of hydrogen infrastructure. However, experts contend that hydrogen needs to be improved if it is to support future food production and energy security. It has been determined that a “speed war” is necessary to close the technological gap between developing nations and hydrogen energy.
At the federal level, the plan is already drawn up. The government’s first hydrogen economy committee, chaired by Prime Minister Han Deok-soo, met on the ninth and considered and made a decision regarding the future course of hydrogen policy. Its three main focuses were the “development of hydrogen technology,” “building of a hydrogen ecosystem,” and “nurturing the hydrogen business.”
It is significant that the hydrogen economy policy was more detailed. It is decided to greatly increase the supply of commercial vehicles, such as hydrogen buses and trucks, which are now around 200 units, in order to develop a hydrogen ecosystem. By the next year, it intends to provide 220 trucks and 700 buses. We also made the decision to broaden the sources of our demand. From 2028, it intends to use fuel that is a specific mixture of LNG and hydrogen while producing liquefied natural gas (LNG). In the first half of the following year, a hydrogen bidding market for buying electricity generated by hydrogen fuel cells will also be established.
At the same time, the hydrogen industry is also promoted. It intends to hasten the commercialization of hydrogen trams and ships in addition to the existing competitive hydrogen vehicles. Crown Prince bin Salman has an interest in several areas, including hydrogen trams. It also has ties to the defense sector. It was determined to review the use of hydrogen fuel cells in domestic armament systems that “struck the export jackpot” during the conflict in Ukraine. It has been decided that by 2030, there will be 20 hydrogen departments and 5 hydrogen convergence graduate schools.
Additionally, efforts are undertaken to create technology in fields where Korea is underdeveloped, like the generation, storage, and transportation of hydrogen.
While the idea itself is excellent, there are still a few details that need improvement before a positive assessment can be made. Technologies for producing, storing, and transporting hydrogen lag behind those of their rivals by three to seven years. For instance, the government intends to construct a pilot ship in 2029 for a liquid hydrogen transport ship. It is rumored that Japan is commencing a technology that has previously been successfully tested this year somewhat late.
Linkage with other nations that produce hydrogen, which is necessary for creating a hydrogen ecosystem, is still lacking. In contrast, Norway and Germany began working together on this project in March. On the 21st, a representative of the Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy stated, “First and foremost, it is crucial to implement the policy correctly. We’ll try our best to complete tasks like providing a lot of hydrogen and developing infrastructure.