People's Republic of China (PRC) economy is the second largest in the world following United States (1). Following China's swift reopening after the COVID-19 outbreaks in late 2022, GDP growth is expected to rebound to 5.1 percent in 2023, from 3 percent in 2022 (2). China is brimming with natural resources such as rare earth elements, aluminum, natural gas, tungsten, copper, petroleum, iron ore, and coal. The most important mineral resources are hydrocarbons, of which coal is the most abundant (3). China is the dominant player in global mineral processing. China controlled the market for antimony, rare earth elements, tellurium and other commodities that are used to produce electric vehicle batteries and emerging technologies (4) .
PRC is the world's second largest consumer of oil and gas. Being a big oil consumer, China's oil consumption is increasing every year with fluctuating growth rates. However, as oil supply still cannot meet the demand, China relies on imports (5).
PRC has a total installed power capacity of ~2500 GW in 2022 where renewable energy share is ~48 percent majorly supported by Solar PV, Hydro and Wind power. Coal contributes ~45 percent of the power generation for China (6)
PRC is the world's largest producer and consumer of hydrogen, but most of it is attributed to fossil fuels. Hydrogen production is PRC was ~35 MT in 2021, nearly 97 percent from fossil fuel pathway. Over 90 percent of hydrogen is used as an industrial feedstock to produce ammonia, methanol and petroleum refining (7).
Government, businesses, and academia are coming together to transform PRC's hydrogen strategy. As PRC's hydrogen demand is expected to cross the 100 MT mark by 2050 and ~130 MT by 2060, the country is planning to penetrate 65 percent and 80 percent by renewable hydrogen in 2050 and 2060, respectively (8)
Currently, hydrogen consumption is PRC is dominated by chemical production (Ammonia ~32 percent, methane ~27 percent), and refineries contribute to ~25 percent of the demand in 2022. It is estimated that hydrogen demand in PRC will reach ~40 MT in 2030 and nearly triple in the next 30 years to ~130 MT in 2060.
Currently there are 2 major policies pertaining to hydrogen in PRC (14):
Total energy potential from solar and wind stands at ~100 PWh. The country has ~50 percent of the land mass in medium to high solar energy generation potential zone according to NREL (15) . PRC is already leading the world in RE capacity installed and additions every year. Due to its high domestic demand of hydrogen for chemical and industrial application, it is targeting massive additions of green hydrogen projects which can be easily supplemented by its existing prowess and experience in renewable energy sector and immense renewable energy resource.
Southwestern and northern regions could become the heart of green hydrogen production, as they have abundant renewable resources and do not suffer from water scarcity. For onshore wind and solar PV, Inner Mongolia and Xinjiang present the highest potentials. The coastal regions of Fujian and Guangdong present the highest potential for offshore wind (16).
PRC currently has ~365 GW of wind power already installed and utilizing ~3 percent of its technical potential. Many other projects are planned at the moment for capacity additions in the coming years.
2- Solar PV- 66.5 PWh (45.6 TW) (7)
|13||HydrogenPro and THM||0.3||ALK|
As of July 2021, a total of 53 large-scale hydrogen projects had been announced with a total investment of 180 billion USD, with 50percent linked to transport applications (2)
|Plant Name (company)||Country||Capacity (MW)|
|Baofeng, Ningxia||People's Republic of China||150|
|Sinoepc, ORDOS||People's Republic of China||390|
|Sinopec, Kuqa||People's Republic of China||250|
|China energy||People's Republic of China||131|
|Huaneng group||People's Republic of China||101|
|SPIC||People's Republic of China||235|
|Hebei construction||People's Republic of China||25|
|Beijing Energy group||People's Republic of China||17.5|
|Three Gorges Group||People's Republic of China||122|
|Huadian Group||People's Republic of China||97|
|CEEC||People's Republic of China||20|
|CNPC||People's Republic of China||50|
|Shell, Zhangjiakou||People's Republic of China||20|
|Shenzhen Energy Group||People's Republic of China||77|
|China Coal Group||People's Republic of China||240|