A Future with 0 Emissions

Aug 31, 2016

Mr. Carsten Germer (Left, Assistant Country Director of UNDP China), Mr. Ma Jinhua (center, Vice Mayor of Nantong City of Jiangsu Province) and Mr. He Yijun (right, Acting Mayor of Rugao of Jiangsu Province) unveiled the first "Hydrogen Economy Demonstration City" in Rugao of Jiangsu Province, China

The official launch of the China Hydrogen Economy Pilot in Rugao

Aug 27, Rugao---With a goal to build a city powered by hydrogen and promote clean-energy based solutions that could help mitigate climate change while boosting local sustainable development, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) -China Hydrogen Economy Pilot Rugao Project was officially launched in Rugao City, Jiangsu Province.

Social and economic development in China during the past decades has driven its energy demand. As the bulk of energy supply is from fossil fuel such as petroleum and coal, China faces great challenges in reducing the greenhouse gas (GHG) emission and tackling the air pollution issues which have been one of the biggest health concern of the public.

Hydrogen can be produced from renewable energy resources. As an efficient energy carrier, hydrogen can be used in any application in which fossil fuels are being used today, and has 0 GHG emission upon combustion. With the development of hydrogen-based technology solutions, the “Hydrogen Economy” which envisions a society that utilizes hydrogen as the main power source to meet the energy demands, is becoming increasingly prominent.

 The hydrogen powered Fuel Cell Logistic Vehicle

The vision is full of prospect, yet there are still challenges to overcome for smooth development of this innovative model. As noted by Mr. Carsten Germer, Assistant Country Director of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) China, the questions regarding the economic viability of hydrogen production, transportation and application, development roadmap of hydrogen economy as well as the public awareness and knowledge about hydrogen still remain unsolved. “We hope the new project launched can help us find answers to those questions by establishing a hydrogen-powered economy model and identifying solutions to address the problems along the way”, said Mr. Germer, “which will eventually contribute to the scaling-up of hydrogen economy models in other area of China.”

As the first “Hydrogen Economy Demonstration City”, Mr. He Yijun, Acting Mayor of Rugao, said that Rugao has been working on developing its hydrogen industry since 2011. He believes the collaboration on the newly launched project will expedite the hydrogen industry development in Rugao.   

 Test Ride on the Hydrogen Fuel Cell Bus in Rugao, Jiangsu Province

At the launching ceremony of the project, a 5 billion RMB new energy industry fund was established by Rugao Municipal Economic and Technology Development Zone to facilitate the commercialization of products from the enterprises in Rugao. Furthermore, 2 orders on 3,500 hydrogen fuel cell buses have been placed by 2 public transportation companies in Beijing and 2 new energy vehicle companies in Rugao, and one hydrogen refueling station, co-funded by Furui Hydrogen and Hyfun Energy, is being developed.

Looking forward, building the public-private partnership will be an important aspect of this project, to leverage available resources and collaborate like-minded partners to expand the impact of the project.

 Billboards of UNDP-China Hydrogen Economy Pilot on the city street of Rugao

The project will be implemented under the partnership between UNDP and China International Center for Economic and Technical Exchanges (CICETE), and the Commission of the National Level Rugao Economic & Technological Development Area is the project implementing partner. The 4-year pilot project will aim to demonstrate low cost, low carbon hydrogen production, transportation and applications as well as generate knowledge and good practices from the pilot initiatives, with the goal to ensure the sustainability of the project’s impact and establish a replicable model to be shared to other places in China.

Together with China’s Ministry of Science and Technology, UNDP has designed and implemented 2 phases of Global Environment Facility (GEF) Fuel Cell Bus Technology demonstration projects. And the third phase of the project, “Accelerating the Development and Commercialization of Fuel Cell Vehicles (FCV) in China”, will also be about to start, aiming to further develop the fuel cell vehicles in aspects of design, market diversification, and policy support structures to ensure its large-scale deployment in China by 2020.

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Launching ceremony of the construction on the 1st Hydrogen Refueling Station under the project
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Hydrogen Powered Fuel Cell Bus
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The hydrogen powered Fuel Cell Vehicle

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