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  • [건설] Hydrogen Economy Promotion Act
    • Competent Ministry : Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy
    • Advance Publication of Legislation : 2018-06-05
    • Opinion Submission Deadline : 2018-06-19
Reasons for Proposal

Hydrogen is a resource that will never run out and can produce energy for human needs without polluting the environment, emerging as a promising alternative to fossil fuels. Having realized the value of hydrogen energy, leading nations are enacting and enforcing laws and policies to shift towards a hydrogen economy and society where hydrogen is used as a new energy medium.

Japan explicitly prescribed the “realization of a hydrogen society” in its 4th Energy Master Plan in 2014, and is now strengthening govenment support with an aim to distribute 800,000 fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV) and 900 hydrogen fueling stations by 2030. Europe has also implemented a project to distribute 3 million FCEVs and 2,000 hydrogen fueling stations by 2030. In late 2016, China announced its plans to distribute 1 million FCEVs and 1,000 hydrogen fueling stations by 2030. On a related note, the International Energy Agency (IEA) has predicted that by 2050 FCEVs will account for 17.5% of vehicles worldwide.

The International Partnership for Hydrogen and Fuel Cells in the Economy (IPHE) was established in 2003 for international cooperation and joint action to shift towards a hydrogen economy and society. The Hydrogen Council has also been active since its formation at the World Economic Forum in 2017.

The reason that all eyes are on the shift from a carbon economy to a hydrogen one is because hydrogen can be not only used for the fuel cell systems for homes, buildings, and power plants in terms of power generation, but also replace fossil fuels in various sectors concerning energy consumption such as transportation, including motor vehicles, marine vessels, trains, and aviation. Hydrogen is also the most realistic solution to achieve greenhouse gas reduction goals for the Paris climate agreement and address the growing issue of particulate pollution and other environmental issues.

Moreover, the systematic development of FCEVs, fuel cells, and other areas of the hydrogen industry will enhance the competitiveness of the automotive industry, which is rapidly reshaping around environmentally friendly vehicles and new energy industries, together with existing industries, may also contribute significantly to a sustained economic growth and the creation of high-quality jobs.

The shift towards a hydrogen economy and society does not simply entail the dissemination of an energy source, but requires a major overhaul of the national energy system. It is necessary to formulate a mid- to long-term road map similar to that of Japan, focus national capabilities, and take action in an organized manner to minimize social costs incurred in a process of trial and error to quickly head towards a hydrogen economy and society and secure opportunities to lead the global hydrogen industry while competing with Japan, Europe, the United States, and others.

To realize a hydrogen economy and society, the government must set relevant goals and at the same time formulate systematic and progressive action plans to provide all hydrogen energy-related industries with support for technological development and dissemination, while also nurturing enterprises and complexes specializing in hydrogen. To promote the dissemination of FCEVs and fuel cell power plants, the government must increase the availability of hydrogen fueling stations at rest stops on national highways and in industrial complexes; encourage the installation of fuel cell power facilities in public buildings, high energy-consuming private buildings, and industrial complexes; and provide additional assistance for such matters as fuel cell natural gas charges and the issuance of renewable energy certificates. Plus, the government must lay the groundwork for a hydrogen economy and society by fostering professional talent, promoting international cooperation, and developing technologies, which makes it necessary to establish a Hydrogen Industry Promotion Agency to take such actions in an organized manner.

This legislation aims to enhance the people’s quality of life by creating a better environment through the organized and timely shift from a carbon economy towards a hydrogen economy and society, and to ensure a sustained development of the national economy by comprehensively nurturing relevant industries that utilize hydrogen.


A. Prescribe that the Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy shall formulate and implement 5-year hydrogen economy and society master plans and yearly action plans with a specified term of 10 years to realize a hydrogen economy and society, and that the master plans and action plans shall be formulated in conjunction with other plans concerning energy and promotion of the dissemination of environmentally friendly vehicles (Article 4).

B. Prescribe that, as the realization of a hydrogen economy and society has to do with a high-tech industry and may not be compatible with existing regulations and systems, the heads of the relevant central administrative agencies may be presented with suggestions or recommendations for a sensible improvement of relevant legislation; and that upon receipt of a suggestion or recommendation from the Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy for the improvement of related Acts and Statutes, the head of a relevant central administrative agency shall comply therewith and proceed to enact or amend such Acts and Statutes unless otherwise justified (Article 6).

C. Allow the government to offer administrative and financial assistance, such as providing enterprises specializing in hydrogen with research and development results and shared use of high-priced equipment, to facilitate the realization of a hydrogen economy and society by promoting the research, development, validation, and commercialization necessary to innovate the production, collection, storage, distribution, safe use, etc., of hydrogen. Allow the Government to subsidize or grant loans for expenses necessary for technological development, talent development, international cooperation, technological exchanges, etc., to ensure safety, economic, and environmental innovations concerned with the production, collection, storage, distribution, and use of hydrogen (Article 7, Article 8).


(the rest omitted)

Major Provisions

Requires hydrogen distributors to report the sales price (Article 35, paragraph 1)

Prescribe proscriptive provisions for hydrogen business operators (Article 36)

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