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Japan to increase hydrogen supply sixfold by 2040

Japan intends to raise its hydrogen supply from existing 12 million tonnes to 72 million tonnes by 2040, the government has announced.

Prime minister Fumio Kishida’s government is planning to raise investment of around 15 trillion yen from both the public and private sectors in the next 15 years to support its ambitions, according to a local report.

In a meeting in April, prime minister Kishida said that Japan would revise its basic strategy for hydrogen, which was developed as a national strategy, by the end of May. The country plans to increase its use of hydrogen as part of its drive to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.

Japan has developed an action plan to increase cooperation between the relevant ministries and agencies responsible for renewable energy. In floating offshore wind power, the public and private sectors will work together to develop future industrial strategies to attract domestic and foreign investment.

Hydrogen is seen as essential to Japan’s shift to clean power in the coming decades – a programme known as GX. In May 2022, Kishida announced a plan to issue a 'green transition' bond worth around 20 trillion yen to speed up Japan's shift to alternative energy sources.

Renewable energy expert Karah Howard of Pinsent Masons said: “Prime minster Kishida’s 'Green transformation' has a strong focus on development of renewable energy and ammonia. For this, infrastructure for mass production and stable supply chains is vital. The war in Ukraine and the global energy crisis has led to enormous investment in hydrogen in the US and Europe and Kishida’s view is that, to maintain its position as a leading country in hydrogen energy, Japan must accelerate the construction of a stable international supply chain with Australia, Middle East and Asia.”

“At the same time, Japan has an enormous investment in Australian LNG [Liquified natural gas] supply through the Ichthys and other projects and it is likely that gas will still play an essential role during the energy transition period until such time as the infrastructure and supply of such hydrogen and ammonia law-carbon energy sources is realised,” she said.

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