LONGi Enters the Hydrogen Market

PVTIME – LONGi is officially entering the hydrogen market after successfully registering Xi’an LONGi Hydrogen Technology Co., Ltd. on March 31, 2021.

According to China’s National Enterprise Credit Information Publicity System, Xi’an LONGi Green Energy Venture Capital Management Co., and Shanghai Zhuqueying Private Equity Investment Fund Partnership are the shareholders and LONGi’s founder and president Li Zhenguo is to serve as chairman and general manager.

In fact, LONGi has been paying close attention to the development of the hydrogen industry since as early March 2020 when its senior officials visited Datong Xinyan Hydrogen Energy Technology Co., Ltd. to explore the fuel cell industry.

A week ago, LONGi’s official WeChat published an article titled ” Solar + Hydrogen = Green Hydrogen, Innovative Cross-Border New Energy Integration” featuring a Q&A interview with LONGi’s director of industry research Bai Yunfei, which signaled that LONGi may be planning to delve into the hydrogen business.

With China setting its targets for achieving a carbon peak by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2060, more and more Chinese companies have \started accelerating their contribution in moving towards decarbonization. Energy companies are increasingly turning to hydrogen as a possible carbon-free fuel that could be produced by electrolysis of water powered by renewable energy.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, annual hydrogen production worldwide is about 70 million metric tons (MT), of which 76% is from steam methane reforming (SMR), 22% from coal gasification, and 2% from the electrolysis of water. Through the technology of carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS), we can realize the negative carbon emission in the hydrogen production process.

According to IEA’s The Future of Hydrogen Report, pure hydrogen demand is about 73 million MT per year, with one third coming from by-product hydrogen from industry. At present, the global hydrogen demand is about 330Mtoe, which is larger than the energy supply of Germany.

From the supply side, China is rich in coal and has great potential for the development of coal-to-hydrogen production. As the world’s largest hydrogen producer, the development of hydrogen energy is essential to China’s goal of optimizing its current energy consumption structure. China has a production capacity of more than 20 million MT per year. Hydrogen produced from fossil fuels such as coal, natural gas, and petroleum accounts for approximately 70%, hydrogen produced from industrial by-product gases accounts for about 30%, and electrolysis of water accounts for less than 1%. The production of hydrogen from coal and natural gas is almost free from resource constraints. The by-product hydrogen production capacity of coke, chlor-alkali, methanol, and synthetic ammonia has also exceeded 10 million MT.

From the demand side, hydrogen energy has broad application prospects in the fields of power generation, industry, and transportation. Presently, the use of hydrogen energy in power generation is minimal. However, hydrogen can be mixed into the existing natural gas pipeline network for transportation, and the application of hydrogen burners can improve the flexibility of the power system. Furthermore, under the existing energy system, hydrogen energy combined with the development of photovoltaic, wind power, and hydropower can be used as a long-term energy storage option to balance seasonal power demand.

As an energy source for high-temperature processes, hydrogen has special advantages in industries that cannot be decarbonized through electrification such as steel, cement, and petrochemical.

In terms of transportation, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles meet the needs of high efficiency, low emission and play an important role in the process of reducing carbon emissions, especially in the application of long-distance freight cars, public transport, medium-sized large-scale vehicles, freight cars, ships, and aircraft.

According to public data of China’s National Enterprise Credit Information Publicity System, Xi’an LONGi Hydrogen Technology Co., Ltd.’s main business scope will be gas, liquid separation, equipment manufacturing, research and development of emerging energy technologies, energy conservation management services, technical services, technology development, technical consultation, technical exchange, technology transfer, and technology promotion.