China: focus on hydrogen and German tech


The Chinese government claims that a local energy crisis in China, which has resulted in recent power disruptions, would have no impact on President Xi’s goal to decrease emissions by 2030 and reach carbon neutrality by 2060.

China just needs to enhance the pace of use of renewable energy sources while avoiding a drop in the amount of wind and solar energy resources utilized to develop a “new energy system.”

Following the previous UN climate summit in Glasgow, the Chinese media began to frequently focus on the PRC’s green energy successes. These messages are disseminated worldwide via English-language periodicals. China is presently responsible for 28% of world emissions. The promotion of China’s green successes helps to counteract the unfavorable image that the US government has constructed of China.

According to the Chinese newspaper China Daily, Sinopec (China Petroleum & Chemical), the country’s largest state-owned oil and gas company, has launched a hydrogen project worth 3 billion yuan ($ 470 million), with the goal of producing about 20 thousand tons of “green” hydrogen per year using electricity generated by solar panels. A 300 MW solar power plant will be developed in Kuq, Xinjiang’s northern region, as part of this project. The station would generate an average of 618 GWh of power per year following its inauguration in June 2023, according to the proposal. Hydrogen production will commence concurrently with the launch of the solar power plant. Sinopec will construct a hydrogen production facility based on water electrolysis, a hydrogen storage tank, and a hydrogen pipeline in addition to the power plant. China’s first industrial photovoltaic hydrogen plant will be built in Kuk. It will also be the world’s largest plant of its sort. China will overtake the United States as the world leader in “green” hydrogen production.

China already produces the most hydrogen in the world inside its own sector. In China, the majority of hydrogen is now used as an industrial raw material, such as in the manufacturing of plastics or chemicals. To enhance fuel quality, hydrogen is used to eliminate sulfur from crude oil. Only 4% of China’s hydrogen comes from renewable sources, with fossil fuels accounting for the majority. The Chinese want to increase the amount of “green” hydrogen produced in total.

The new plant will replace a Sinopec facility in Tahe, Xinjiang, that produces hydrogen from natural gas, resulting in the reduction of 485,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per year.

With an annual capacity of 3.9 million tonnes, Sinopec is China’s largest hydrogen producer, accounting for 11% of the country’s total hydrogen output.

Sinopec intends to employ hydrogen not just in manufacturing, but also as a transportation fuel. In 2021, a new kind of hydrogen-fueled city bus was introduced at China’s car exhibitions. During the current 14th five-year plan, Sinopec plans to install thousands of hydrogen filling stations in China by 2025.

Three new green hydrogen projects have been announced by the Chinese energy giant, including two solar projects in Inner Mongolia’s north and one offshore wind-driven project in Fujian province’s southeast. Sinopec vice president Liu Hongbin stated in August that his business is looking into putting offshore wind farms in place to address the energy demands of its refining and petrochemical units in the country’s coastal regions.

One of the routes on China’s announced path to carbon neutrality will be the development of “green” hydrogen. According to research released in May by the China Hydrogen Alliance, hydrogen energy’s portion in the country’s energy balance is predicted to rise from roughly 3% in 2018 to 20% in 2060.

China’s hydrogen industry development plans and guiding directives have already been issued by 23 provinces and municipalities. China will soon publish a medium- to long-term national hydrogen strategy for the energy sector, according to Shanghai Securities News.

BASF, a German chemical company, plans to build its largest factory in China. The $ 10 billion investment is the greatest by a well-known German corporation in the last century and a half. At the same time, it is China’s first wholly foreign-invested petrochemical complex.

BASF’s China plant will open next year, in response to rising demand for critical manufacturing ingredients in the world’s largest chemical market.

Simultaneously, the German investor is seeking to improve “green” circumstances in China. By 2025, BASF expects this new Chinese petrochemical factory to generate at least half of its power from renewable sources. BASF does this by purchasing wind energy from China Resources Power. BASF intends to run the plant entirely on renewable energy sources by 2030 when it is completely operational. Chinese solar and wind firms are benefiting from industry demand.

BASF, a German chemical company, has set its own corporate objective of reducing global greenhouse gas emissions by 25% by 2030 compared to 2018, with the goal of reaching “clean zero” by 2050.

BASF intends to deploy new carbon-free hydrogen generation technologies beyond 2030. In Germany, the business has built a prototype generator that breaks down methane to produce hydrogen and solid carbon while limiting the emission of carbon dioxide into the environment. Naturally, natural gas from Russia will be used in part to produce German “green” hydrogen.

BASF agreed in June this year to purchase 49.5 percent of its shares in a 1.5 GW offshore wind farm in the Netherlands, which will become the world’s largest following commissioning in 2023, in order to deliver sustainable energy to its Belgium facility.

BASF has also agreed to collaborate with German utility RWE on the development of a 2 GW offshore wind turbine that would power BASF’s chemical factories in Germany starting in 2030. Around 20% of the energy produced will be utilized to power a “green” hydrogen plant built with BASF technology.

Covestro & Co, a German chemicals company located in China, plans to cut global carbon emissions in half by 2025 compared to 2005 levels. Covestro announced a deal with Datang Wuzhong New Energy in September to acquire solar electricity in northern China starting next year. 10% of the yearly demands of the current Shanghai Covestro facility are met by energy acquired at a higher price than the capacity supplied by the local grid. The agreement aims to cut carbon dioxide emissions.

Covestro established its integrated production plant and R&D center in Shanghai, PRC, twenty years ago. China has surpassed the United States as the company’s largest market, accounting for about a fifth of overall revenues. Covestro, a Chinese corporation, also exports to nations in the Pacific.

Covestro announced intentions to develop a new polymer – polyurethane elastomeric systems facility in Shanghai in November. In 2023, the new Shanghai facility is planned to open. Covestro’s high-tech materials help China achieve its carbon-neutral goals. Covestro creates low-carbon, ecologically friendly materials. Polyurethane elastomers are employed in several sectors, including solar and offshore wind generation.

Covestro also provides cutting-edge solutions and technology that use carbon dioxide as a raw material to replace fossil fuels. Carbon dioxide from the atmosphere will be used as a feedstock for chemical synthesis instead of emissions. The utilization of O2 as a raw material has already become not only a Covestro research initiative but also a product that has made its way into the company’s sales divisions.

Covestro also offers environmentally friendly materials for a variety of industries, including automotive, renewable energy, electrical and electronic engineering, and green construction. Covestro provides energy-saving insulation and materials for the construction of lighter electric vehicles. Refrigerators, for example, are one of the biggest sources of greenhouse gas emissions into the environment, and Covestro rigid foams are used to insulate them.

Covestro gives special attention to product processing towards the conclusion of their life cycle, especially chemical processing. The answer can be found in chemically separating molecular chains in order to get chemical starting ingredients for a new synthesis. Covestro’s strategic projects are focused on circular economy programs in this regard. Covestro is now investing roughly one billion euros in circular economy initiatives that are expected to begin in the next ten years. It’s evident that China wants to use Covestro’s projects in its new green energy initiative.

Arnes Biogradlija
Creative Content Director at EnergyNews.Biz

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