Japan Commits $107 Billion to Boost Hydrogen Supply and Decarbonization
The Japanese government has recently approved a comprehensive plan aimed at generating 15 trillion yen ($107 billion) in investments for hydrogen supply over the next 15 years. This initiative is part of Japan’s commitment to increasing the use of hydrogen and expediting the process of decarbonization. The revised Basic Hydrogen Strategy, which was approved during a meeting between relevant ministers, outlines the country’s objective to increase its hydrogen supply sixfold from the current level of 2 million tons to approximately 12 million tons by 2040.
Hydrogen is an attractive energy source because it does not emit carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases when combusted. By blending hydrogen with natural gas in thermal power plants or utilizing hydrogen as fuel, the utility sector can significantly reduce carbon emissions.
Although hydrogen has the potential to be utilized in various applications, such as fuel for vehicles, there are challenges to its widespread adoption due to the comparatively high costs associated with its production and transportation when compared to conventional fuels like coal.
Japan Economy, Trade, and Industry Minister, Yasutoshi Nishimura, expressed his ambition to expand Japan’s leading hydrogen technology and establish a hydrogen supply chain in Asia and the Indo-Pacific region. Through the implementation of this strategy by 2040, the Japanese government aims to encourage companies to become more actively involved in hydrogen initiatives, with the ultimate goal of commercializing hydrogen power generation by 2030.
In addition to the proposed targets, the government plans to increase the country’s hydrogen supply to 3 million tons by 2030 and approximately 20 million tons by 2050. These efforts align with Japan’s commitment to achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and serve as a critical component of the nation’s “GX” initiative, which seeks to transition from a fossil fuel-based economy to one centered on cleaner energy.
Hydrogen can also be utilized as a power source for fuel cell vehicles, and the government intends to support the expansion of synthetic fuels and ammonia production using hydrogen. In the latest energy white paper released by Japan, hydrogen was designated as a crucial element for driving decarbonization across multiple sectors. An additional use case for hydrogen is that it can be utilized in carbon recycling by producing renewable methanol from CO2 and hydrogen, thereby offering a more sustainable fuel and chemical alternative.
Japan Prime Minister, Fumio Kishida has emphasized the government’s determination to accelerate the establishment of international supply chains for hydrogen, collaborating with countries such as Australia, as well as Middle Eastern and other Asian nations.
Japan’s hydrogen strategy was established in 2017, placing the country at the forefront of global efforts in this field. The strategy is currently being revised to align with the hydrogen policy strategies developed by European nations and the United States.
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