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Moon says S. Korea will lead 'irreversible trend' of hydrogen energy transition

All News 19:12 October 07, 2021

By Chang Dong-woo

SEOUL, Oct. 7 (Yonhap) -- President Moon Jae-in said Thursday South Korea will become a global leader in transitioning from a fossil fuel-based economy to a hydrogen-based one, calling the clean energy push an "irreversible trend."

At an event spotlighting the government's hydrogen energy vision and policy, Moon said the transition toward a hydrogen-based economy from a carbon-based one was "an irreversible trend directly connected to national competitiveness."

"We will muster up our national resources and capabilities to lead the transition toward a hydrogen economy," Moon said at the event held in Incheon, west of Seoul, praising the clean energy source as central in an age in which low-carbon emissions are increasingly promoted.

South Korea is aggressively pushing toward an energy transition policy based on hydrogen, an environmentally friendly alternative to fossil fuels, in line with the country's goal to slowly phase out conventional resources and go carbon neutral by 2050.

President Moon Jae-in speaks at an event spotlighting the government's hydrogen energy vision and policy held in Incheon, 40 kilometers west of Seoul, on Oct. 7, 2021. (Yonhap)

The country launched a new law promoting the hydrogen economy in February, under which companies whose business portfolio covers the sector can receive state subsidies of up to 150 million won (US$128,000).

Moon said the global competition between countries and companies in the growing hydrogen energy market is expected to further heat up, predicting the size of the market to increase to up to 12 trillion dollars by 2050.

He also said South Korea's hydrogen industry ecosystem has been invigorated thanks to the active support from the government and bold investments from local companies.

"We are maintaining the No. 1 leading nation position in areas of hydrogen cars and fuel cell systems," Moon said, adding the country plans to further widen its lead in areas of dominating strength and quickly catch up in trailing areas concerning hydrogen adoption.

Moon also praised the launch of a joint hydrogen council between 15 local conglomerates, including Hyundai Motor, SK and POSCO, last month and said he looked forward to businesses seeking cooperation and strengthening their competitiveness in terms of hydrogen energy transition.

President Moon Jae-in (L) has a trial ride on a hydrogen-fueled tram made by Hyundai Rotem Co. after attending a groundbreaking ceremony for a next-generation hydrogen fuel cell complex in Incheon, 40 kilometers west of Seoul, on Oct. 7, 2021. SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won (2nd from R) and Hyundai Automotive Group Chairman Chung Eui-sun (R) were on hand. (Yonhap)

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