June 14, 2019
1. Outline and purposeHydrogen contributes to diversifying the structures of energy supply and also has a potential for becoming a dynamo to achieve dramatically low carbonization in society. These expectations for hydrogen as a key technology to energy transition and decarbonization have been attracting great attention worldwide.
Amidst this trend, reliable data on costs, future forecasts and other elements is indispensable for stimulating global investment in hydrogen and popularizing hydrogen energy across the world. To this end, the IEA, in response to a request from the government of Japan, prepared its first report on hydrogen.
In light of this, on June 14, 2019, the previous day of the G20 Ministerial Meeting on Energy Transitions and Global Environment for Sustainable Growth, METI and the IEA held a Hydrogen Report Launch Event in Karuizawa, Nagano Prefecture. In the event, Dr. Fatih Birol, IEA Executive Director, made a presentation on the hydrogen report titled “The Future of Hydrogen,” Mr. Hiroshige Seko, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, expressed Japan’s expectations for the report and explained the efforts tackled by the government of Japan for realizing a hydrogen-powered society at a global level, and Mr. Benoit Potier, Co-chair, Hydrogen Council, expressed, as a representative of industrial players, his expectations for the report and made a presentation on the efforts taken by the private sector.
The Hydrogen Council was established in January 2017 as an opportunity to encourage participating companies (60 as of today) to discuss issues on hydrogen, a resource expected to become a solution to overcoming climate change, energy insecurity, and other energy issues, and to offer their common visions to global society.
2. Key points of the IEA’s hydrogen report
The report analyzes the current situationsof hydrogen from a quantitative perspective and shows a compilation of future perspectives and recommendations.
Future visions of hydrogen
- Solution to a variety of energy challenges
- Resource producible from all energy sources, transportable in the form of gas and usable for many purposes, including electricity, chemical raw materials and transportation fuels.
- Resource contributing to storing electricity derived from renewable energy for a long time and transportable over a long distance.
Challenges that global society needs to overcome
- High cost in manufacturing electricity from a low-carbon energy source
- Delay in development of hydrogen infrastructures, which hinders the popularization of hydrogen
- A large amount of carbon dioxide emissions due to the existing manufacturing method of hydrogen mainly relying on fossil fuels
- Regulations that limit the development of the clean hydrogen industry
- Formulate an ambitious and specific long-term hydrogen strategy to clarify future expectations and intentions.
- Stimulate commercial demand for clean hydrogen to reduce costs involving hydrogen.
- Introduce a new system for reducing investment risks to increase investment in new hydrogen.
- Support R&D to promote technological development for reducing costs.
- Further abolish unnecessary regulations and harmonize standards to remove barriers to investment.
- Conduct progress reviews in a regular manner to achieve long-term goals.
- Intensively engage in the following four fields to maintain and expand the current momentum placing eyes on the next decade: [i] utilization of hydrogen in the industrial sector, [ii] utilization of hydrogen in the existing gas infrastructures, [iii] utilization of hydrogen for trucks, buses and other vehicles, and [iv] establishment of transportation routes toward international trade of hydrogen.
Division in Charge
Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Strategy Office, Advanced Energy Systems and Structure Division, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Department, Agency for Natural Resources and Energy