Green Hydrogen: A Gamechanger to Achieve Net-Zero in Korea

SEOUL, Republic of Korea; June 29, 2021 – The Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), in partnership with the Australian Embassy to the Republic of Korea, co-hosted a hybrid event to discuss how Australia and other regional partners can support the Republic of Korea’s efforts to transition to green hydrogen. The event brought together experts from energy sectors in Korea, Indonesia, & Australia to share relevant experiences, as well as provide insight on the importance of green hydrogen projects in the context of green technologies and resource mobilization.

GGGI Director-General, Dr. Frank Rijsberman, opened the event sharing, “We’re very happy today to make this link between three Member countries – Australia, Korea, & Indonesia – and to explore opportunities to bring about green hydrogen projects.”

“Hopefully, green hydrogen will indeed be the key solution that the International Energy Agency thinks it has to be to decarbonize ‘hard-to-decarbonize’ sectors, and maybe a solution for energy storage as well,” added Dr. Rijsberman.

Ambassador of Australia to the Republic of Korea, H.E. Catherine Raper, delivered opening remarks at the event, explaining that hydrogen is at the forefront of collaboration opportunities between the Republic of Korea and Australia.

“There is very much global momentum to develop the Hydrogen economy- momentum that’s been created by global agreement on the need to address climate change. So, as advanced and industrialized nations, Australia and Korea need to invest in sectors that can both accelerate emissions reductions and support jobs in communities as they recover from economic impacts of the ongoing pandemic,” Ambassador Catherine Raper said.

During the 1st session of the event, Mr. Sungbok Kim, CEO of H2Korea, delivered a presentation to provide insight on the strategic roadmap for Korea’s hydrogen economy. He shared that transitioning to green hydrogen will support an emission-free value chain which will play a crucial role for Korea to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.

CEO of Fortescue Future Industries (FFI), Ms. Julie Shuttleworth, delivered the 2nd presentation of the event to highlight FFI’s plans to accelerate green hydrogen and commitment to achieve carbon neutrality.

“It is a critical point in time to protect our planet and we must all take action now. Fortescue Future Industries wants to lead by example in doing this but at the same time we acknowledge that there is a huge challenge to transform the global economy to decarbonize,” shared Ms. Shuttleworth.

During her presentation, she also emphasized that public demand for green energy must be coupled with energy security and that we must develop a long-term major new green industry to help supply green energy globally.

The final speaker of this session, CEO of the Green Hydrogen Organisation (GH20), Jonas Moberg, provided an introduction to the Green Hydrogen Organisation and shared his insight into the future of green hydrogen. “We have to work together with governments, various think tanks, NGOs, and competitors in order to better create an enabling environment for this green revolution to happen,” highlighted Mr. Moberg.

The 2nd session of the event consisted of a panel discussion moderated by GGGI Deputy Director & Head of Carbon Pricing, Ms. Fenella Aouane, to build a dialogue around the potential opportunities and challenges for green hydrogen going forward.

During the discussion, several panelists provided insight on Indonesia’s many opportunities for Green Hydrogen, including the Director of New Renewable Energy of the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources Indonesia, Chrisnawan Anditya, who shared that Green Hydrogen holds the answer to some of Indonesia’s major energy challenges. “The president already made commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase green development such as by developing green industrial park. Green Hydrogen, as a part of reducing GHG emissions and energy transformation, it is already emphasized in our strategy to keep energy independence and energy security,” said Mr. Chrisnawan.

Also during the discussion, Enda Ginting, Fortescue Future Industries Country Manager for Indonesia, shared his outlook on how Green Hydrogen can serve Fortescue’s activities in Indonesia. “Not only are we seeing an opportunity for us coming in but also the opportunity from the government to welcome operations and indicate how the nation intends to be part of the global move to address climate change,” said Mr. Enda.

GGGI Assistant Director-General & Head of Investment & Policy Solutions Division, Mr. Kyung Nam Shin, emphasized the potential for expansion of Green Hydrogen in the Asia-Pacific, as well as highlighted the role of GGGI to broker financing & policy development for sustainable energy innovation. “According to the European Commission’s Green Hydrogen Strategy, Green Hydrogen is expected to take up 25% of all renewable energy in 2050 … If we look at the potential expansion of green energy, we can consider this source of energy and this would be the area we could consider for financing & policy development,” said Mr. Shin.

To share Korea’s experience, Head of Hydrogen Business Department of Korea Gas Corporation (KOGAS), Tae-Hun An, provided insight into KOGAS’s announcement to establish a hydrogen business headquarters, the progress they’ve made thus far, & opportunities for collaboration with GGGI. “As a Government backed company and a first mover in the green hydrogen business in Korea, KOGAS is preparing a foundation of the hydrogen business which is in early stages. KOGAS also operates a key role in the hydrogen business as a designated hydrogen center.”

Moreover, Managing Director and Partner, Boston Consulting Group, Ms. Minjee Kim, provided insight into the importance for governments to design policies to create the market demand and unlock the potential of green hydrogen. She added, “To unlock the potential of net-zero, I think to realize the potential from industrial usage [of green hydrogen] is really important. To that end, the government should design the policy to incentivize companies to change their procedure and equipment to adopt hydrogen. I think that’s an essential piece for adoption.