Air, Climate Change

Korea’s Hydrogen Act: A Model for Developing Countries

by Min Chul Kim, Director, Division of Policy Research, Green Technology Center-Korea

The Korean Hydrogen Commission is a global CEO consultative body formed to highlight the role of hydrogen technology in the energy transition process at a global level. Launched in January 2017, the Hydrogen Commission prioritizes hydrogen energy from among solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

In turn, the Korean government presented an aligned national roadmap to revitalize the hydrogen economy and announced a formal legislative roadmap in January 2019.  Korea developed and implemented renewable energy policies for hydrogen society and measures for eco-friendly automobiles. Because the bill only deals with the automobile industry, it is inherently limited.  Korea has supplemented the initiative with bills, such as the Act on the Hydrogen Economy, the Act on the Promotion of Hydrogen Industries, and the Act on the Safety of Hydrogen meant to extend the initiative to other industries.

The proposed bills on hydrogen economy in 2018 aimed to achieve the same goal of implementing a hydrogen economic society and fostering industries however it has proven difficult to take a systematic response because projects for hydrogen car supply and charging infrastructure were distributed among several agencies.

Therefore, in February 2020, Korea enacted the Act on the Promotion of Hydrogen Economy and the Safety Control of Hydrogen.  The bill ensures that a designated agency can support the promotion, distribution, and safety of the hydrogen industry. Hopefully, this bill will prove beneficial to the Korean economy, if it does, it will also have implications for legislation in developing Asian countries interested in hydrogen cars and secondary battery industries.