Sarawak’s strategic move into green hydrogen mirrors global energy developments

Abdul Aziz (right) chairing the inaugural SHA pro tem committee meeting at Menara SEDC, Isthmus Kuching on Oct 13, 2020. Photo credit: SEDC

KUCHING, Oct 18: Sarawak is looking at developing and producing green hydrogen as a strategic move for the future in line with developments taking place in developed countries around the world.

The Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) in a press statement today revealed Sarawak has the capability to produce green hydrogen as the state has the advantages of low electricity tariffs and vast hydropower resources to make it as competitive as other sources of hydrogen production.

SEDC chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Husain asserted in a statement the state is in a good position to become the green hydrogen powerhouse in Southeast Asia (Asean) region with the present proactive measures in developing its hydrogen economy agenda.

”We are optimistic on the viability of this strategic move which will enable Sarawak to increase the value of its exports if it can produce hydrogen at a cheaper cost because the demand is expected when everybody starts to convert their vehicles into hydrogen fuel cell driven vehicles.

”Presently, there are already many countries which are developing their green hydrogen production capacities and just like Sarawak, they are taking bold steps to become frontliners of developing what could be a major source of energy for future mankind,” he pointed out.

Abdul Aziz who is also the pro tem committee chairman of the newly formed Sarawak Hydrogen Association (SHA) mentioned that Sarawak’s initiatives in developing its hydrogen fuel production capabilities are similar to that undertaken by developed countries such as Japan, China, France, Sweden, Germany, Australia, Norway, South Korea, United Kingdom, United States of America and the European Union (EU).

SEDC noted the EU has announced its own hydrogen strategy and has also unveiled its vision of building a ”hydrogen-centric” energy system to attain ”carbon neutrality” status by 2050.

To achieve this, the EU is planning to secure 10 million tonnes of hydrogen production capacity with the goal of replacing 30 nuclear power plants with hydrogen energy facilities for the next 10 years.

In terms of capital investments itself, SEDC noted, the EU is expected to invest between 180 billion euros to 470 billion euros in “clean hydrogen” production alone with plans of expanding the proportion of hydrogen in overall energy use from three percent to 14 per cent by year 2050.

Meanwhile, Japan is seeking to build 900 hydrogen charging stations and install about 5.3 million fuel cell generators as part of its transition towards the hydrogen economy.

Similarly, SEDC added, China is also setting up 1,000 hydrogen charging stations throughout its major cities and is supplying one million hydrogen cars in its pursuit to quickly catch up with the rise of global hydrogen economy initiatives.

To that end, the Chinese government has taken one step further by giving purchase tax exemption of 10 per cent for hydrogen cars and has extended a subsidy programme to hydrogen vehicles ownership until end of year 2022.

”All of these developments have shown us that there is enormous potential in the budding global hydrogen economy which is expected to breach the trillion dollars mark in the future.

”From here, we can see that the global industrial and energy landscapes are undergoing exponential changes but most importantly, the ordinary people will also benefit because the rise of the hydrogen economy is expected to create millions of new jobs worldwide,” Abdul Aziz added. — DayakDaily