Republic of Korea
Updated December 2020
Target by 2022
Initiatives, Programs, and Policies
- First Hydrogen Economy Committee Meeting was held on 1 July. The Committee, established under Hydrogen Economy Law, functions as the control tower of hydrogen economy policy in Korea. It set/confirmed various policy measures and targets including fostering 1,000 H2-specialized companies by 2040, deploying 850,000 FCEV and 660 HRS by 2030, establishing 3 separate agencies for industry promotion, distribution and safety, etc.
- Hydrogen Energy Portfolio Standard (HPS) for fuel cell power generation will be introduced in 2022. Fuel cell generation is currently in Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), but the government decided to support it with a new, more suitable policy scheme. Other hydrogen technologies may also be covered by HPS afterwards.
- The government plans to propose a bill of “Hydrogen City Construction and Management” in 2021. The bill is intended for deregulation and financial support for hydrogen-powered city projects. There are 3 hydrogen model cities and 1 hydrogen R&D-oriented city in Korea.
- “Future Mobility Market Strategy” was released jointly by relevant Ministries in October. The strategy sets the ambitious vision on future mobility-centred society and industry eco-system. It encompasses policy tasks such as building future mobility-friendly society, expanding autonomous driving and mobility service, transitioning to future mobility industry eco-system.
Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) released the 5th Community Energy Supply Basic Plan. It includes policy measured to encourage community energy suppliers to use fuel cells such as applying fast track approval procedures to fuel cell installation in existing community energy facilities or sites.
Three ministries, including MOTIE, sealed a “Memorandum of Understanding on Demonstration of Hydrogen Fuel Cell Trucks Deployment” with Hyundai Motors and major domestic logistics businesses. The demonstration project will be ready by the end of 2020 and implemented for the following 2 years
Research and Development
Nothing new to report this period.
The government plans to demonstrate MW-scale renewable energy-fed water electrolysis technology starting 2020.
KEPCO embarked on a “P2G technology development for storing and transforming renewable energy” project, aiming at demonstration of 2MW PEM-alkaline hybrid electrolysis system.
Demonstration, Deployments, and Workforce Developments
- The first fuel cell power plant running on by-product hydrogen, Daesan Green Energy Power Plant, started operation. Doosan Fuel Cell supplied 50MW fuel cell system (114x440kW PAFC), which annually produces 400GWh from 25,000ton of hydrogen (3ton/hr). The by-product hydrogen is collected in Daesan petrochemical complex, one of the 3 major petrochemical complexes in Korea.
- Memorandum of Understanding was signed on 15 October to establish a special purpose company, Kohygen, to expedite expansion of refuelling infrastructure for commercial vehicles such as buses and heavy-duty trucks. US$300million will be funded (a half from the government) to build 35 refuelling stations.
- RD&D project for green hydrogen production and storage is being carried out with a 3-year budget of US$12million. The project is composed of 3 parts, namely, 3MW electrolysis system, 600kg hydrogen and 2MWh battery storage, and hydrogen utilization facilities (e.g. refuelling stations).
The government implements the following “Hydrogen Industry Promotion Projects”:
- “Hydrogen Model City Project” is to build hydrogen model cities in Ulsan, Ansan and Wanju-Jeonju area by 2022. In the city of Ulsan, a model city with an area of 5.87km2 is to be developed on a total budget of 39.1 billion KRW (USD32.6M). Various hydrogen technologies (residential, transportation, industrial, etc.) will be introduced in the model city.
- “Hydrogen Green Mobility Regulation-free Special Zone Project” is expected to allow for demonstration of hydrogen-based mobility technologies.
- “Hydrogen Integrated Mobility Cluster Establishment Project” is to establish a hydrogen-based mobility cluster in selected regions, integrating local major industries such as automobile, ship-building and chemistry (conditional on preliminary feasibility study to be completed by the first half of 2021).
Events and Solicitations
Nothing new to report this period.
MOTIE, in cooperation with Korea Energy Economics Institute (KEEI) and Korea Energy Agency (KEA), is due to host “2020 Korea Energy Transition Week” in Seoul from October 21 to 23. There will be a hydrogen session with the theme of “Role of Green Hydrogen in Completing Energy Transition”. The “2020 Energy Transition International Conference” and related exhibitions will take place in parallel.
Investments and Funding
The government of Korea funds 30 billion KRW (US$27million) for construction of the production facilities of hydrogen for vehicles in 6 cities nationwide.
“Hydrogen Economy and e-New Industry Start-up Fund” launched. Its size is expected to be 34 billion KRW (US$31million) or larger and KEPCO, a monopolistic power company and public enterprise, will provide it with 28.9 billion KRW (US$26.1million). The fund itself is subordinate to “New Energy Industry Fund”, whose size will amount to 505 billion KRW (US$456million).
With an intent to gain a new growth momentum, MOTIE intends to invest additional 6.9Billion KRW (USD57.5M), as a part of the national green new deal package in the remaining half of 2020. Green hydrogen production and storage R&D support program and hydrogen safety enhancement project are included in MOTIE’s proposal.
Regulations, Codes & Standards, and Safety
- Hydrogen safety decrees and enforcement regulations are being prepared, which are necessary for safety-related articles of “Hydrogen Economy Law” to take effect.
- Special exemption provisions are expanded to cover all the hydrogen refuelling stations (HRSs) that share their sites with other types of refuelling stations (gasoline, liquefied petroleum gas, natural gas, etc.) as “integrated hydrogen refuelling stations”. So far, only HRSs attached to existing refuelling stations have been exempted from some safety regulations, which would otherwise cause additional capital expenditure. HRSs with other types of refuelling stations later attached to it will benefit from this deregulation.
Recent deregulation cases: rationalization of hydrogen refuelling station (HRS) safety criteria, permission of multi-story HRS, relaxation of HRS building restriction in development restriction zones, permission of HRS in industrial complexes.