Press Release

Board View

The Ministry of Environment to First Produce Green Hydrogen Utilizing Small Hydropower

▷ The Ministry of Environment to build green hydrogen fueling stations and convert Seongnam-si's bus fleet to zero emissions bus through a public-private partnership

Sejong, July 26 - The Ministry of Environment is planning to introduce green hydrogen produced from renewable sources such as small hydropower as early as next year. Hydrogen is classified into three types: green hydrogen produced through water electrolysis, using 100% renewable energy, grey hydrogen made via steam reforming in which high-temperature steam from fossil fuel is used, and by-product hydrogen produced in petrochemical or steel plants.


On July 21, the Ministry of Environment (Minister Han Wha-jin) and K-water held the groundbreaking ceremony for the green hydrogen demonstration plant, where green hydrogen will be produced using small hydropower of the water filtration plant. After the groundbreaking ceremony, the Seongnam city government, Hyundai Motor Company, SK E&S, and other private companies signed a memorandum of understanding on the establishment of the entire life cycle of green hydrogen from production, distribution to utilization. 

The project is the nation's first case utilizing small hydropower, invested KRW 3.08 billion from the Climate Response Fund. Water pressure is created by water moving from the intake station of Paldangho lake to the water filtration plant. The Seongnam water filtration plant has a 0.7-megawatt small hydropower generator. If water of the filtration plant is electrolyzed with renewable energy, 69 tons of green hydrogen could be produced every year. The amount is equivalent to supplying 188kg of green hydrogen a day and sufficient enough to charge 38 hydrogen vehicles a day. 


In addition, the Ministry of Environment plans to build a hydrogen fueling station on vacant land of the water filtration plant and provide exclusive parking lots for hydrogen buses to make refilling hydrogen more convenient. The Ministry will also create a testbed for green hydrogen production facilities and support research companies and centers for water electrolysis and universities to demonstrate their technology. 

The Ministry of Environment announced that it would convert 450 intra-city buses of the Sasong Bus Depot to zero-emission (hydrogen, electric) buses in partnership with the Seongnam city government. To improve the hydrogen fueling infrastructure in Seongnam, the Ministry of Environment will cooperate with Hyundai Motor company in establishing one mobile hydrogen fueling station on the vacant lot of the Seongnam water filtration Plant by 2023. The Ministry and SK E&S will build a liquid hydrogen fueling station to meet the conversion goal to hydrogen buses.

<Roles of each institution />  Ministry of Environment	-	Financial support for establishing a green hydrogen demonstration facility  -	Subsidies for purchasing zero-emission (hydrogen, electric) buses in Seongnam  Seongnam city government	-	Conversion of intra-city buses of Seongnam to zero-emission (hydrogen, electric) buses by 2030  -	Building a zero-emission bus depot on the vacant space of the water filtration plant  K-water	-	Establishing and managing a green hydrogen demonstration facility  -	Establishing and managing a water electrolysis facility testbed  Hyundai Motors	-	Establishing a mobile hydrogen fueling station  -	Developing and supplying zero-emission (hydrogen, electric) buses in Seongnam  SK E&S	-	Establishing a liquid hydrogen fueling station in Seongnam

By successfully establishing the green hydrogen demonstration facility in the Seongnam water filtration plant, the Ministry of Environment plans to apply green hydrogen technology using renewable energy across the nation, including the Chungju Dam (hydropower, 6 MW) and Miryang Dam (small hydropower, 1.3 MW). 

Water energy, such as hydropower and small hydropower, has higher energy efficiency when compared to other renewable energy, such as solar power or wind power, making it more economically feasible to produce green hydrogen from water.

Minister of Environment Han Wha-jin said, "hydrogen is an energy currency that can store and transfer renewable energy. Hydrogen is critical to achieving the country's nationally determined contributions (NDC) by 2030 and carbon neutrality goal by 2050." She added, "The Ministry of Environment will successfully establish the green hydrogen demonstration facility utilizing small hydropower of the Seongnam water filtration plant. Then, the Ministry will further apply green hydrogen technology across the country."

Contact: Lee Young-hoon, Deputy Director

Hydrogen Mobility Innovation TF/ +82-(0)44-201-6889

Foreign Media Contact: Chun Minjo(Rachel)

+82-(0)44-201-6055 /