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Japan to Help Produce Renewable Energy-derived Hydrogen in Fukushima

2016/09/17 18:35
Kenji Kaneko, Nikkei BP CleanTech Institute
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Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) had the third meeting of the Conference for Realizing Fukushima New Energy Society Concept and announced "Fukushima New Energy Society Concept (Plan)" Sept 7, 2016.

The main feature of the plan is a project combining renewable energy and hydrogen systems. For example, METI is considering producing a large amount of hydrogen by using renewable energy and using it for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Fukushima Prefecture has a goal of "using renewable energy to produce the amount of energy equivalent to more than 100% of the primary energy demand of the prefecture by 2040." The Fukushima New Energy Society Concept of METI will help the prefecture to achieve the goal and use renewable energy-derived hydrogen outside the prefecture.

Specifically, METI will collaborate with private companies, establish infrastructure for renewable energy-based hydrogen production with a scale of about 10,000kW and carry out tests to optimize transportation/storage technologies. At the same time, it will examine the effect of using part of solar/wind electricity for hydrogen production on the reduction of the load on a power grid. For those tests, METI will launch a commission for verification within fiscal 2016, planning to start operation by 2020.

The Tokyo metropolitan government, Tokyo Environmental Public Service Corp, Fukushima Prefecture and National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) will promote joint researches/developments and technical cooperations for the use of renewable energy-derived hydrogen based on a basic agreement on CO2-free hydrogen.

For expanding the introduction of renewable energy in Fukushima Prefecture, METI plans to reinforce power transmission lines for wind power generation in the Abukuma and Futaba areas and submitted a budget demand of ¥10 billion (approx US$97.8 million) for fiscal 2017. Also, for speeding up procedures, METI cited the promotion of the use of the Act for the Promotion of Renewable Energy in Rural Areas and said it will organize meetings for explanation.

Fukushima Renewable Energy Institute of AIST (FREA) will engage in the development of technologies for storing and transporting hydrogen and test/evaluate PV inverters in consideration of the international standardization of renewable energy technologies such as of mega (large-scale) solar power plants.