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Japan takes a major step toward a hydrogen-based economy

By Tetsuo Satoh |

A Japanese consortium has started the construction of the Fukushima Hydrogen Energy Research Field (FH2R), which is said to be the world’s largest hydrogen-based energy system — a step towards a hydrogen-based economy. Located in Namie-cho, Fukushima Prefecture, FH2R will operate a 10-MW class hydrogen-production facility that will start operation in 2020, after final tests to verify the technologies. Hydrogen produced at FH2R will be used to power fuel cell vehicles and to support factory operations. The consortium — comprised of the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO; Kawasaki; www.nedo.go.jp), Toshiba Energy Systems & Solutions Corp. (Kawasaki; www.toshiba-energy.com), Tohoku Electric Power Co., Inc. (Sendai; www.tohoku-epco.co.jp) and Iwatani Corp.(Tokyo; www.iwatani.co.jp) — aims to contribute to the realization of a hydrogen economy, which is being promoted by Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI). METI’s guiding policy statement, “Basic Hydrogen Strategy,” strives to industrialize the power-to-gas technology for storing surplus renewable energy. The power-to-gas technology utilizing H2 requires not only a grid balancing function, to make the maximum use of…
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