The South Korean government said it planned to spend KRW25bn (US$23m) in the next six years to acquire key technology to strengthen the emerging hydrogen economy.

South Korea expects hydrogen to become a key source of economic growth as the world looks to significantly reduce carbon emissions over the next 30 years.

The ministry of science and technology wants to strengthen hydrogen production and storage capabilities which are seen to be still at an early stage.

The ministry confirmed plans to increase collaboration with five domestic companies, including SK group, Hyundai Motor, Posco, Hanwha and Hyosung to help achieve its targets. These companies have already pledged to spend a combined KRW43trn on hydrogen-related infrastructure by 2030, according to the ministry.

Key technology targeted for investment includes photo-electrochemical water splitting, which produces hydrogen by using sunlight and a specialised semiconductor, plus high-density hydrogen storage systems able to travel long distances.