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Korea to shift all commercial vehicles to fuel cell energy by 2035

Government also pledges to invest W130b in 23 renewable energy projects

March 20, 2019 - 15:11 By Shin Ji-hye
South Korea is slated to set a goal of entirely shifting commercial vehicles -- including trucks and construction machinery -- to run on fuel cell energy by 2035 in its efforts to address serious fine dust problems, according to plans released by Transport Minister-nominee Choi Jeong-ho. Hydrogen-powered trains are also expected to be commercialized after 2025.

The ministry’s plan was released on Wednesday by Rep. Yoon Kwan-seok of the ruling Democratic Party of Korea, who received documents from nominee Choi.

Choi also plans to commercialize hydrogen-powered trains after 2025 with the aim of completing research and development along with trial runs by 2022. He also plans to designate one pilot city to form a green city, home to hydrogen-powered buses and hydrogen transit centers. 

Korea Energy Agency

According to an official of the Transport Ministry, there is a consensus on Choi’s proposals within the ministry. “Following the nomination process, the ministry will make a roadmap that includes detailed plans to achieve the goal,” he said.

On the same day, the Industry Ministry announced it would invest around 130 billion won ($115 million) in 23 renewable energy projects over the next three to four years. The projects are the development of key technologies for renewable energy, the development and demonstration of renewable convergence system in agriculture sectors and the development of production base of high-efficient biogas.

The ministry said the projects on renewable energy will focus on strengthening the industry capacity and securing key technologies.

As for solar energy, the industry still faces difficulties in price competitiveness despite having world class technologies. The ministry plans to help them develop cost-saving technologies as well as back them to develop world class commercialized products (23 percent of cell efficiency).

For wind power energy, the government sees the industry lacks both technologies and price competitiveness compared to advanced nations. The ministry plans to help the development of technologies for key parts such as blade and speed increaser that should be urgently localized. 

By Shin Ji-hye (