Agency for Natural Resources and EnergyMETI has compiled a Strategic Road Map for Hydrogen and Fuel Cells
In December 2013, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) established a Council for a Strategy for Hydrogen and Fuel Cells, and since then the council has been studying ideal approaches to the future utilization of hydrogen energy, through collaboration between industry, academia and government. On June 23, 2014, the council compiled measures to be taken by people involved in realizing a hydrogen society into a Strategic Road Map for Hydrogen and Fuel Cells, and METI hereby publicizes the road map.
1. Background and purpose
Hydrogen as a fuel source has been applied to a limited extent for industrial purposes. However, a movement towards usage of hydrogen as a common energy resource is growing, such as for fuel cells for households, which were brought to the market in 2009 and are now being popularized, and for fuel cell vehicles, which are scheduled to be released onto the market in 2015. Based on this situation and the energy environment that Japan is facing, METI established a council from industry, academia and government, and the council has held meetings to discuss ideal approaches to the future utilization of hydrogen energy.
In April 2014, the Strategic Energy Plan was approved by the Cabinet, and it states that it is essential for Japan to formulate a road map toward the realization of a “hydrogen society.” In line with the plan, the Council compiled views on how Japan would be able to make use of hydrogen, goals to be achieved in each step of manufacturing, transportation and storage of hydrogen, and collaborative efforts among industry, academia and government for achieving these goals, into a road map with clear time frames attached, taking into account the significance of an initiative for disseminating hydrogen energy.
2. Highlights of the road map
Concerning the utilization of hydrogen, METI focused on the difference in time periods required for solving technical challenges and for securing economic efficiency, and decided to advance efforts by categorizing them into three phases, as follows:
Phase 1: Expanding the scope of applications for fuel cell technology, e.g., fuel cells for households and fuel cell vehicles (which have been brought into use recently), and aiming to achieve dramatic energy conservation as well as acquiring a new global market (scheduled to begin in 2014);
Phase 2: In terms of the supply side measures, establishing a system for supplying hydrogen using unconventional energy resources imported from other countries, while, for the demand side, aiming to enhance energy security measures, keeping an eye on full-fledged introduction of hydrogen power generation (time frame: putting the technology into practice by the late 2020s); and
Phase 3: Targeting the establishment of a carbon-dioxide-free hydrogen supply system using renewable and other energy (time frame: putting the technology into practice around 2040).
Points of the Road Map (PDF:676KB) (in Japanese; English edition is in preparation)
June 24, 2014
Division in Charge
Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Promotion Office, Agency for Natural Resources and Energy