South Korea on Thursday unveiled how it plans to take the lead in shifting to a hydrogen economy.
Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun, who arrived to Thursday's government meeting in a hydrogen-powered car, has vowed full government supportfor the country to become the so-called "first mover".
"There is no particular leader at the moment, so I believe South Korea can become the first mover. The government will work together with domestic companies to shift towards a hydrogen economy."
The government plans to spend another seven-hundred million U.S. dollars next year on infrastructure and developing key technologies.
And to expand distribution, from the year 2022, local energy companies will be obliged to purchase a certain amount of electricity generated from hydrogen fuel cells.
But to lighten the burden on businesses, the price of natural gas used to make hydrogen will be lowered by up to 43 percent.
In partnership with domestic firms like Hyundai Motor Company and SK Energy among others, the government also aims to build around 35 additional hydrogen fuel stations in urban areasfor buses, trucks and automobiles over the next three years.
In addition, four local governments, including the cities of Ulsan, Gyeongsangnam-do Province and Ansan, Gyeonggi-do Province, will operate as hydrogen power test cities.
As well as building so-called "smart farms", hydrogen will be used to supply power to houses and hospitals.
Kim Sung-min, Arirang News