This Article Was Written By Energy Watch | 09.08.21 | 8:00 AM In Malaysia, hydrogen is already used in a myriad of industry applications – as is or via conversion to ammonia. As such, there is already a value and supply chain in place based on production, pipelines and storage, making Malaysia’s energy transition journey from fossil fuels to hydrogen much easier. The nation’s transition to hydrogen has been envisioned in the Hydrogen Energy Roadmap (2005-2030) through a research paper done by Higher Institution Centre of Excellence (HICoE) and UM Power Energy Dedicated Advanced Centre (UMPEDAC), which outlines hydrogen generation using renewable energy resources and the development of a hydrogen network for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. Recently, interest in the production and utilisation of hydrogen has been renewed with the advent of renewable hydrogen production sources such as solar, hydro and biomass ensuring a more environmentally friendly combustion. A hydrogen ecosystem can be manufactured within the energy economy. Firstly, the market should look to use hydrogen as feedstock for chemical industries. Once hydrogen production has matured, the second phase can focus on its use as fuel in internal combustion engines or burners. Finally, the hydrogen economy would see hydrogen utilised as the primary fuel for automobiles, fuel-cell combined heat and power as well as energy storage. The beauty in hydrogen production lies in its cost efficiency as current power plants can already be converted to produce this resource. Instead of building fresh new facilities, older, decommissioned power plants can be transformed for use to produce this energy source. As gas turbines are inherently fuel-flexible, they can be configured to operate on green hydrogen or similar fuels as a new unit or be upgraded even after extended service on traditional fuels, such as natural gas. By 2060, it is expected that between 50–70% of Malaysia’s primary energy supply is coming from renewable energy sources. By 2060, it is expected that between 50–70% of Malaysia’s primary energy supply is coming from renewable energy sources. Therefore, between 2050 and 2060, fuel cell-based power stations are anticipated to replace ageing thermal power plants. The scope of the required modifications to configure a gas turbine to operate on hydrogen depends on the initial configuration of the gas turbine and the overall balance of plant, as well as the desired hydrogen concentration in the fuel. From 1997 to 2013, approximately RM40 million has been allocated for hydrogen fuel cell research and development by the Malaysian government. However, this number is slated to increase as hydrogen begins to demonstrate its utility as an efficient and reliable source of energy. States like Sarawak are already leading the charge by tapping into its rich renewable energy potential which can be harnessed to produce low carbon hydrogen which can position the state to become a significant player in the global hydrogen value chain. By 2050, Sarawak aspires to join the bigwigs of hydrogen production such as the European Union and be a key actor in a global hydrogen market expected to be worth around US$11 trillion (RM45 trillion). The two universities that was given the appointed mandate are the University of Technology Malaysia (UTM) and National University of Malaysia (UKM) to be involved as research partners with the Ministry. With that research collaboration, various prototypes such as solar-hydrogen eco-house, hydrogen-based boiler, vehicle, and conversion kits have been developed. In addition, the collaboration has produced a promising roadmap for a hydrogen fuel cell, which was presented at the International Seminar on the Hydrogen Economy for Sustainable Development in Iceland, illustrated below: Sarawak’s state-owned electric utility company, Sarawak Energy, now produces green hydrogen at its integrated hydrogen production plant and refuelling station in Kuching. This is achieved by electrolysis – which is a method of passing a strong electrical current through water that splits the H20 molecule into its two constituent elements – H2 (hydrogen) and O (oxygen). Approved for commercial and public use in 2017, this production plant marks a milestone in the hydrogen journey of the country, being the first of its kind in Southeast Asia. With a solid roadmap in place, Malaysia is well on its way to realising its hydrogen ambitions and become a formidable player in the future global hydrogen economy. As technology advances and costs decrease, hydrogen has the potential to play a much bigger role in reaching the global goal of a sustainable, green society. With a solid roadmap in place, Malaysia is well on its way to realising its hydrogen ambitions and become a formidable player in the future global hydrogen economy. This in line with Malaysia’s ambition to cut 45% CO2 emissions by 2030, and the global energy sector’s shift from fossil -based systems of energy production and consumption to renewable energy sources.