Hydrogen Economy Pilot in China (Rugao Project)

The Challenge

 The hydrogen powered Fuel Cell Logistic Vehicle


China, the second largest economy in the world, has become the world’s largest energy producer and consumer. With its great dependency on fossil fuels, China became the largest emitter of greenhouse gases and has been seriously affected by air pollution. As a clean energy solution, hydrogen can be produced from various renewable energy resources and has 0 emissions after combustion. Hydrogen Economy, a future which fully utilizes hydrogen as the main power source to meet the energy demands of society, can therefore help address energy issues in China.

To facilitate the hydrogen-powered economy, several barriers first need to be addressed.  Currently there is a lack of economically-viable and environment-friendly methods to produce, store, and transport hydrogen; there is a need to expand the hydrogen refilling infrastructure and applications; more targeted policy and regulatory frameworks for hydrogen-based technical solution must be developed; and the public’s awareness and knowledge on hydrogen needs to be increased.

The Response

The project aims to establish a hydrogen economy demonstration city through piloting the application of hydrogen-based solutions in industry, transportation, power sectors and finally testing the feasibility of such initiatives by addressing the above mentioned issues to achieve the goal of sustainable development and mitigate climate change.

The project will work on the following 6 areas to realize the targets:

  • Developing Hydrogen Economy Development Roadmap in Rugao;
  • Demonstrating the feasibility of hydrogen production, including generation of hydrogen through renewable energy, industry recycling and reusing, improving production methods and developing related technical standards;
  • Demonstrating hydrogen energy storage and refilling solutions, including new hydrogen storage and transporting technology and building new hydrogen refilling stations;
  • Demonstrating the application of hydrogen energy in the field of transportation and domestic uses, and development of related technical standards;
  • Based on the achievements, the project can promote the development of Hydrogen Economy, and consequently promote the sustainable development of China and mitigate the adverse impacts of climate change.


Upon successful implementation, the project will establish a replicable model of a hydrogen-powered city as well as demonstrating the feasibility and economic viability of various hydrogen-based clean technology solutions.

The project will demonstrate the low cost, low carbon hydrogen production, hydrogen refilling station as well as hydrogen (FC) application in the transportation sectors and domestic usage, with the goal to gain the knowledge of the technology adaptation and provide good reference for the related policy and business model development.

Meanwhile, the knowledge, lessons learned and good practices generated through the project will be well managed and distributed to the targeted audiences and key stakeholders, with the goal of ensuring the sustainability of the project and expanding the project’s impact in the development of hydrogen economy, which will contribute to the sustainable development of China and mitigation of climate change.

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