Japan’s government and its world-leading auto industry are together making a huge bet that hydrogen – not batteries – will provide power for the emission-free cars of the future. Starting with the Tokyo Olympics in 2020, they want to put millions of hydrogen vehicles onto the nation’s roads. Entrepreneurs and researchers worldwide are pursuing hydrogen. An industry-government collaboration in California targets 1m hydrogen-powered vehicles by 2030. Anita Sengupta, co-founder of US aviation start-up Airspace Experience Technologies, sees hydrogen fuel cells as a viable option for longer-range commercial jets by 2050. But there is nowhere more enthusiastic than Japan. “Hydrogen, as both a primary source, and more importantly, a carrier of energy, must become cheaper and more easily affordable,” declared prime minister Shinzo Abe in Davos this year. “My government is aiming to reduce the production cost of hydrogen by at least 90 per cent by the year 2050, to make it cheaper than natural gas.” The hydrogen vision published by Japan’s ministry of economy, trade and industry is expansive. It starts with brown coal in Australia, which will be gasified to produce low-cost hydrogen, with the carbon pumped back underground.
FT 17th June 2019 read more »
Kyushu Electric Power Co. will be forced to halt a Kagoshima Prefecture nuclear reactor next March due to a delay in the construction of a facility meant to prepare for possible terrorist attacks, company officials said. The No. 1 reactor at the Fukuoka-based company’s Sendai power plant will be the first in Japan whose operation will be suspended because of a delay in the construction of such a facility. In April this year, the Nuclear Regulation Authority decided to order that reactors be halted if such facilities were not completed by a set deadline. On Wednesday, the authority indicated its policy is to issue such an order about a week before the deadline.
Japan Times 15th June 2019 read more »