In the Era of Promoting Hydrogen
In the era of promoting carbon neutrality, many countries are keen to create their own domestic development roadmaps for hydrogen. The hydrogen energy industry chains in Europe and Japan, for example, are already well-established. While the policy system for hydrogen energy in the Greater Bay Area has grown more comprehensive, a hydrogen energy industry cluster was formed with more than 300 related enterprises. The HKSAR Government will also engage with franchised bus firms to perform hydrogen fuel cell bus trials, as stated in the Chief Executive's 2021 Policy Address.
The Automotive Platforms and Application Systems R&D Centre (APAS), which is part of the Hong Kong Productivity Council (HKPC), held the "The Era of Hydrogen" Industry Network Clusters (INC) in January 2022 to look into the feasibility of using hydrogen fuel cell vehicles in Hong Kong as well as the technology required. Experts in the field were invited to deliver speeches on the topic to stimulate discussion among market players. The INC received an overwhelming response where representatives in different sectors, including the Environmental Protection Department, and Electrical and the Mechanical Services Department, power companies and motor companies, shared their visions of developing hydrogen and the challenges facing. The vigorous discussion laid a foundation for future exchanges in the field.
Towngas General Manager – Commercial & Industrial Marketing & Sales Mr. Don Cheng advocated in his presentation that Hong Kong has unique advantages in developing hydrogen. “Hydrogen, which accounts for roughly 49 percent of the gas mix in our supplied town gas, is one of the most important components. On the other hand, Towngas has over 3,600 km of pipelines covering various districts in Hong Kong. With such well-established gas infrastructure, it shows that we have achieved the idea of "hydrogen power for millions"." Mr. Cheng added. He also suggested a future opportunity that hydrogen gas could be extracted from town gas to produce hydrogen fuel cells for vehicles. This approach not only offers a safe, reliable and continuous source of hydrogen, but also acts as a convenient solution as hydrogen refueling stations can be set up at different locations easily.
This INC marked the first step towards popularising fuel cell vehicles and accelerated the development of new energy vehicles in Hong Kong. It is hoped that through the cooperation of different stakeholders in the society, the hydrogen energy ecosystem in Hong Kong can be developed steadily, providing the public with the choice of clean energy vehicles as an alternative.