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Working Group on CO2-Free Hydrogen Compiled a Report

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) established a Working Group on CO2-Free Hydrogen under the Council for a Strategy for Hydrogen and Fuel Cells. Since May 2016, the working group has been holding discussions, aiming at the future expansion of CO2-free hydrogen utilization. METI hereby announces that the working group has compiled the results of their discussions into a report, describing streamlined current challenges and other tasks, and the direction of future efforts.

1. Background and purpose

The Strategic Roadmap for Hydrogen and Fuel Cells (revised in March 2016) states the importance of the approach of creating a hydrogen supply system with low carbon dioxide emissions, setting this as a final goal to be achieved in Phase 3 of the roadmap.

In recent years, since the start of the Feed-in Tariff (FIT) Scheme, the introduction of renewable energy has been expanding dramatically. This expansion in turn causes additional challenges to emerge, such as a shortage of power grid capacity in rural areas where the intensive introduction of renewable energy is likely to occur, and the insufficient capability of electric utilities to compensate the electricity output from thermal power sources in response to the added flow of power from renewable sources. Countries around the world including Japan are paying attention to hydrogen energy as an energy carrier that can store renewable energy in large-scale reserves for a long time. Through the technical advancement of a system which converts electricity to hydrogen (called the “Power-to-Gas system”) in the future, hydrogen will become a power source that can contribute to measures for stabilizing power grids and the further introduction of renewable energy.

In order to create a foothold to expand the future utilization of CO2-Free hydrogen by applying new hydrogen-related technologies (e.g., the power-to-gas system) to overcome the current infrastructural/technological challenges surrounding renewable energy expansion mentioned above, the working group clarified such current challenges, held discussions on the future direction to address these challenges under government-industry-academia collaboration, and finally compiled the results of the discussion into a report.

2. Key topics of the report

The report explains the current situation and challenges in the expansion of CO2-free hydrogen and highlights the following key topics:

  1. Utilizing the power-to-gas system as a measure to popularize and expand renewable energy
  2. Achieving a low-carbon hydrogen supply chain
  3. Procuring CO2-free hydrogen from overseas countries and utilizing CCS technologies
  4. Future directions of efforts for expanding the utilization of CO2-Free hydrogen


Release date

March 7, 2017

Division in Charge

Advanced Energy Systems and Structure Division, Energy Conservation and Renewable Energy Department, Agency for Natural Resources and Energy

Related website

Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry1-3-1 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8901, Japan Tel: +81-(0)3-3501-1511
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