As the world races towards a cleaner and sustainable future, the spotlight is increasingly turning to hydrogen-powered vehicles. However, Korea finds itself in the midst of a push to expand the adoption of hydrogen cars, a move that has fallen short of government ambitions.
To supercharge this effort, a strategic proposal has emerged – one that calls for tax incentives to be extended to hydrogen car charging. The Korea International Trade Association (KITA) has sounded the clarion call, outlining the potential impact of this visionary move.
A pivotal report, titled “Comparison and Improvement of Hydrogen Utilization Policies in Major Countries,” published by KITA, underscores the importance of incentivizing hydrogen car usage. It suggests that by extending the current value-added tax exemption – a benefit for hydrogen vehicle purchases – to encompass hydrogen charging fees, a ripple effect could ensue. This ripple effect, it’s believed, will stimulate the hydrogen vehicle market, fostering technological advancements along the hydrogen vehicle value chain.
The report’s insights don’t end with tax incentives. Recognizing the local opposition that often hinders hydrogen infrastructure projects, KITA emphasizes the need for bolstering public awareness regarding the critical role hydrogen energy plays in a sustainable future. Overcoming skepticism and opposition is crucial to ensure the swift establishment of hydrogen charging stations and the overall infrastructure necessary for hydrogen vehicles to flourish.
Korea’s research and development (R&D) budget allocation for hydrogen utilization presents a paradox amidst the booming global hydrogen landscape. KITA’s report sheds light on this by revealing that among Korea’s significant R&D budgets in 2023, the budget dedicated to hydrogen utilization within the industrial sector is relatively modest. Notably, the original budget for core technology development aimed at carbon-neutral industries using hydrogen was slashed by a substantial 86%, sparking concerns about the nation’s commitment to hydrogen advancement.
KITA’s stance on the matter is clear – to drive hydrogen’s industrial utilization, a radical shift in R&D budget allocation is imperative. Highlighting the burgeoning global hydrogen utilization market projected to reach $1 trillion by 2050, KITA underscores the need for a robust hydrogen research ecosystem. From hydrogen reduction steel technology to cement industries, KITA calls for comprehensive support to bolster hydrogen’s role in reshaping industries.
As the report echoes, the expansion of the hydrogen utilization market has sparked a flurry of infrastructure initiatives in Korea. However, the report’s underlying message emphasizes the need for a holistic policy overhaul. The efficacy of hydrogen-powered vehicles and their infrastructure isn’t solely driven by technology; rather, it’s the result of a synergy between policy, public awareness, and a substantial research investment.