Japan Allocates $107 Billion to Develop, Improve Hydrogen Energy

by | Jun 7, 2023

A fabricated hydrogen (H2) plant with water surrounding it.

(Credit: Canva)

Japan’s government accepted a revision to the country’s Basic Hydrogen Strategy, originally created in 2017, to use more hydrogen as fuel, which acts as a part of efforts to reduce carbon emissions and use the gas to shift towards a low carbon economy.

The plan has set a target to increase the annual supply to 12 million tons by 2040, which is six times the current level. Japan will also pledge $107 billion in funding from private and public sources to better hydrogen-related supply chains over the next 15 years. It will also help Japanese companies play a role in providing the electrolyzers needed to produce hydrogen from water, according to Reuters.

“Hydrogen is an industrial sector that can make a triple achievement of decarbonization, stable energy supply and economic growth in one shot,” Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said at the cabinet meeting Tuesday. “We will promote (hydrogen) on a large scale, both demand and supply.”

The revised plan prioritizes nine areas, some of which are fuel storage batteries, the development of water electrolysis equipment, and large tankers for hydrogen transport.

The decarbonization strategy in Japan centers on using clean coal, hydrogen, and nuclear energy to connect with the transition to renewable energy. The country is currently relying on hydrogen mainly produced through the use of fossil fuels, according to the Associated Press.

The government is drafting legislation to support the building of necessary infrastructure and supply chains for the commercial use of pure hydrogen and another source of hydrogen: ammonia. According to the Associated Press, Japan’s leaders say they want to turn the country into a “hydrogen society,” despite the hydrogen industry still being in its initial stages.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Japan will promote the Asia Zero Emission Community (AZEC) at a hydrogen council meeting with industrial leaders last week. According to the Associated Press, this will contribute to Japanese technology in hydrogen, ammonia, and other decarbonization technologies. Through setting an ambitious goal, they aim to make the country’s plans more predictable and encourage investment in the development of a large-scale hydrogen supply and demand, he said.

Japan adopted a Green Transformation (GX) plan in February 2023, approving the GX Basic Policy, which is a set of policies made to implement green transformation with a plan for the next decade.

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