Japan planning massive increase in hydrogen supply

Japan is to revise its hydrogen strategy to boost annual supply to 12 million tonnes by 2040, according to the country’s industry ministry.

Tokyo is aiming for net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, which means hydrogen is viewed as a key driver in its plan to bring about a green transition, also known as “GX,” an initiative to transform a fossil fuel-based economy into one centred on cleaner energy, it added.

The announcement comes in the same week that Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida addressed a ministerial meeting on the need to revise the hydrogen strategy, which was first mapped out in 2017.

Kishida also called for the acceleration of the development of supply chains.

Citing massive hydrogen investment by the United States and Europe, Kishida said Japan will speed up the roll out of supply chains in cooperation with Australia, the Middle East, and Asia.

The resource-poor country will also advance the development of domestic regulation and support, Kishida said.

The industry ministry aims to complete the new plans in about two months’ time, including for investment of 15 trillion yen ($113 billion) over 15 years in the public and private sectors, as it aims to lead the setting of global standards for the cleaner fuel, according to the industry ministry.

Japan’s existing goal is to increase annual hydrogen supply to about 3 million tonnes in 2030 from 2 million tonnes now, which is mainly used by oil refiners, and to expand the figure to 20 million tonnes in 2050, according to the ministry.

In 2017, the country became the first in the world to adopt a national hydrogen plan, and companies like Toyota have committed to constructing futuristic cities powered by the technology. In 2021 alone, Japan spent around $800 million on investments into hydrogen power and fuel cells.