In the era of fossil fuel shortage and soaring oil prices under the condition of severe environmental problems we are facing now, an increasing need for sustainable development of new energy technology as a substitute of fossil fuel has become an issue of great concern throughout the world. Most of energy consumed in Korea, over 96%, is imported from foreign countries, especially Middle East. Korea is now ranked the 10th energy consumed country in the world. That is why we are interesting in hydrogen economy. As a result, hydrogen and fuel cell technology was selected as one of economic growth engines for next generation, and strongly supported by Korea government. Also, the government set up Hydrogen Economy Policy in 2005. There are four R&D programs on hydrogen and fuel cell in Korea. Two of them are supported by MEST (Ministry of Education, Science and Technology) and others are funded by MKE (Ministry of Knowledge Economy). The hydrogen production technologies examined in Korea cover 3 main bases, fossil fuel, renewable energy including bio-hydrogen technology, and nuclear power. In October 2003, Korean government launched Hydrogen Energy R&D Center (HERC) as a member of the 21st Century Frontier R&D programs supported by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MEST). The HERC has conducted research on the key technologies for the production, storage, and utilization of hydrogen energy for expediting realization of hydrogen economy based on renewable energy sources. The main purposes of this paper are to overview the current status of research programs conducted by Hydrogen Energy R&D Center based on the patent applications as well as research topics and to introduce specific achievements in each research program.

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