The PRC’s State Power Investment Corporation (SPIC) is one of China’s “Big Five” energy firms. As a state-owned enterprise (SOE), SPIC makes business decisions based on industrial policy set by the PRC government. A major policy announced recently is the “Carbon Peak 2030, Carbon Neutral 2060” strategy. Like other energy firms in China, SPIC has correspondingly invested in renewables projects to move the PRC towards these “Double Carbon” goals. In 2020 SPIC decided to start investing in hydrogen energy in response to the PRC’s Fourteenth Five-Year Plan’s (14FYP) calls for a “hydrogen energy revolution” to promote “national unity through transportation.”
Since making an initial foray into the hydrogen energy sector in 2018, SPIC has moved fast to catch up to industry standards. As a well-funded SOE – essentially a branch of the PRC government – SPIC is well-funded and well-connected. In 2021 alone SPIC made a number of high-profile investments in the hydrogen energy industry in upstream hydrogen production, midstream hydrogen transport and storage, and downstream fuel cell applications, including vehicles, ships, and trains. SPIC has shown a preference for working with other PRC SOEs though SPIC has imported key technology equipment from overseas, such as fuel cell stacks and membranes.