China’s state-owned oil major Sinopec has announced it plans to greatly expand its interest in the country’s pioneering hydrogen sector. The company has announced it will invest some $13 billion to develop the hydrogen chain starting upstream, by building new industrial capacity to produce hydrogen at scale, to downstream activities including new refuelling stations for heavy goods vehicles.
At present, China is responsible for at least 25% of the world’s carbon emissions. This announcement from Sinopec coincides with China’s pledges to cut the country’s carbon emissions to almost zero by 2060 . Reflecting on these announcements, Energy analyst Neil Beveridge, to Bernstein consultants, is reported as saying by Techno Codex October 2020 that, “Like solar, like wind, like batteries, this is a new clean energy business that China wants to dominate”. And he adds that, “It is still very, very early days, but clearly this is going to be a big, big industry in the future if China’s going to hit net zero.”
In addition, Neil Beveridge calculates that to reach China’s energy transition targets over the next thirty years would cost at least a hefty $6.5 trillion, much of which sum is likely to be provided by the private sector, most notably Sinopec.