On 23 March 2022, China's National Development and Reform Committee (NDRC) and National Energy Administration released a plan on the development of hydrogen energy for 2021-20351 ("Plan"). As the first national-level industry plan for hydrogen development, the Plan recognizes hydrogen as a major component of China's future national energy system, an important carrier for realizing green- and low-carbon transition to the net-zero economy, and a key direction of China's strategic emerging industries.
China currently is the largest producer of hydrogen in the world but the industry is still in its early stage of development, facing problems in various areas such as innovation capabilities, technical equipment and policy support and regulatory framework. The aim of the Plan is to promote and guide an integrated, green and high-quality development of the hydrogen industry in China. To that end, the Plan sets out the main objective for the development of China's hydrogen industry, namely, building up a complete hydrogen value chain by 2035 with a significant proportion of hydrogen produced from renewable energy to support China's green energy transition.
This article provides a summary of recent market developments in China's hydrogen sector, covering its value chain from production, storage, transport to end use application, government policy support to the industry, issues that are particularly challenging to the industry, as well as potential investment opportunities for foreign investors who are interested in participating in this booming market.
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Li Zeng is an associate of FenXun Partners who is a premier Chinese law firm. FenXun established a Joint Operation Office with Baker McKenzie in China as Baker McKenzie FenXun which was approved by the Shanghai Justice Bureau in 2015.