An image of the process of producing methane from renewable energy (source: IIS)
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The Institute of Industrial Science of the University of Tokyo (IIS), National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Hitachi Zosen Corp, JGC Corp and EX Research Institute Ltd established "CCR (carbon capture & reuse) Study Group" for developing technologies to use CO2 and renewable energy-derived hydrogen Nov 18, 2016.

The group aims to promote the use of renewable energy and effectively use CO2 by promoting the use of alternative energy combining CO2 emitted through industrial activities and renewable energy-derived hydrogen.

Specifically, CO2 collected at the time of, for example, burning fossil fuel is reacted with hydrogen produced by electrolysis using renewable energy-derived power to produce fuels such as methane. Also, by storing surplus solar and wind electricity as fuels, it becomes possible to smooth the output fluctuation of renewable energy.

As elemental technologies, the group will consider processes to deal with the diversity of renewable energies such as (1) economical methods to separate/collect CO2, (2) rational methods to use renewable energy and fuel production processes, (3) decentralized models and (4) centralized models. Eventually, the group will establish a platform for actually installing the established processes in the economic society.