China’s first photovoltaic green hydrogen plant with an annual capacity of over 10,000 tonnes started production in Kuqa, signaling a major technical breakthrough in green transition in the country’s energy sector.
Hydrogen can be produced from various sources of energy such as coal, natural gas and renewable energy through power generation. Green hydrogen is called “green” thanks to its origin of renewable energy such as wind and photovoltaic power. Green hydrogen production is eco-friendly as it uses electricity from non-carbon sources such as wind and solar to breakdown water into hydrogen and oxygen, with almost no greenhouse gas emissions.
With an investment of nearly three billion yuan (over $400 million), the project was launched by China Petrochemical Corporation (Sinopec Group), the country’s largest oil refiner. According to the World Economic Forum’s latest white paper, China is the largest producer and consumer of hydrogen globally with an annual production of about 33 million tonnes. Taking advantages of the rich photovoltaic resources in Kuqa, the demonstration project is expected to produce of 20,000 tonnes of green hydrogen each year, by using solar power to electrolyze water, with a hydrogen storage capacity of 210,000 cubic meters and a transmission capacity of 28,000 cubic meters per hour.