• Japan’s drive towards hydrogen economy a product of history

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      Patrick Lavery

      Combustion Industry News Editor

Green Tech Media has run an interesting blog post on the reasons for Japan’s pursuit of the hydrogen economy. While the country is pursuing renewable energies such as solar and wind power, its relatively narrow geography means that those energies’ intermittencies is particularly hard to deal with, especially being an island nation. Moreover, since Tokyo imported generators from Germany and Osaka generators from the US in the 1890s, the country has had a split between 50 Hz and 60Hz grid systems, making electrification harder. After the Fukushima nuclear disaster of 2011, the country’s nuclear power generation was greatly reduced, forcing the country to turn to fossil fuels, and hydrogen is also a combustible fuel. (Japan is the world’s largest importer of LNG, the third-largest importer of coal, and the fourth-largest importer of oil.) With all of this at play, hydrogen offers the country the best change to decarbonise, hence the Japanese plan. It is thought that it will be in power generation, rather than transport, that the hydrogen economy will begin in earnest.