UNDP China Hydrogen Economy Pilot Project in Rugao

Aug 27, 2016

By Carsten Germer, Assistant Country Director of UNDP China.

The Launching Ceremony of

UNDP China Hydrogen Economy Pilot Project in Rugao

Dear Mr. He Yijun, Deputy Secretary of the Municipal Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) of Rugao City,

Dear Mr. Xiao Fenghuai, Deputy Director General of CICETE,

Distinguished guests,

Ladies and Gentleman, Thank you.

I feel privileged to be here and witness the commencement of this new project that will help shape the future of renewable energy development in China. I would like to thank Rugao City for the efforts you have put into the preparation of this project and organizing today’s launch.

Discussions on how to promote hydrogen-based clean technology solutions have been carried out, both inside and outside UNDP’s China office for over the past decade, and I am glad be part of these efforts, which over time has produced fruitful results, one of these being the China Hydrogen Economy Pilot Project.

The economic and social development in China have driven China’s demand for energy forward. With China’s current dependency on fossil fuels, the country faces a great challenge in reducing its greenhouse gas emissions and tackling its air pollution. In this regard, we are gathered here today as we believe that renewable energy produced hydrogen can help China to fulfill its commitment of increasing its non-fossil fuel consumption to 15 percent of primary energy consumption by 2020 and with it reduce its CO2 emissions and drastically lower its pollution levels.

As the most abundant element in the world, hydrogen can be produced from various renewable energy resources and has 0 emissions after combustion. For more than a decade, UNDP has been working with the Chinese government to test out possible ways to utilize hydrogen. Together with the Ministry of Science and Technology, we have designed and implemented 2 phases of Global Environment Facility) Fuel Cell Bus Technology demonstration projects. And the third phase of the project we are about to start will aim to facilitate the commercialized production and wide application of Fuel Cell Vehicles in China by 2020.

The Fuel Cell Vehicle project, along with our continuous discussions with researchers and pioneers in this area, help us further understand and believe in the future “Hydrogen Economy”. The Hydrogen Economy will be a future which fully utilizes hydrogen as the main power source to meet the energy demands of society. Aside from providing power through fuel cells for different means of transportation, hydrogen can serve as an energy storage medium, balancing power demand during off and peak hours. The increasing demand for clean energy and wide application of hydrogen makes the realization of a hydrogen economy increasingly prominent, and the prospect of a zero-carbon economy a real possibility.

There are still many unanswered questions in realizing this vision. Questions like, “How can we produce and transport hydrogen in an economically-viable and environment-friendly way?” “What is the strategy and policy guidance on the development of hydrogen energy?” “What is the right model for the industry to development and prosper?”, are remaining unanswered yet.

 Those are all tough questions, and we hope the new project launched today 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, which will eventually contribute to the scaling-up of hydrogen economy models in other places in China.

I would like to end my remarks by thanking Rugao city for its foresight in moving down the path towards a hydrogen based economy. I would also like to thank our long term implementation partner CICETE for, like UNDP seeing the opportunities for diversification - in projects like the Hydrogen Economy Pilot here in Rugao.

Thank you again for all your efforts to realize this project. I wish every success to this project and the great partnerships it will cultivate.


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