Wind power to produce hydrogen in Fukushima


The Abe government plans to draw up a program by summer to promote wind and geothermal power generation in Fukushima Prefecture to produce hydrogen for use in fuel cell vehicles, officials said.

The hydrogen will be transported to the Tokyo area to provide a power source for fuel cell vehicles to be used around the venues of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic, the officials said Tuesday.

The government adopted the plan at a meeting of Cabinet ministers related to renewable energy sources.

Aiming to produce massive quantities of hydrogen that can drive a total of 10,000 fuel cell vehicles, the program will call for constructing large-scale electrolysis equipment in the prefecture that bore the brunt of the catastrophe at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.

The government is considering the acquisition of machines from domestic businesses such as Asahi Kasei Corp. and Hitachi Zosen, and companies from Germany that are heavily involved in hydrogen use, the officials said.

for the project to get on a smooth track, the cost of hydrogen production, currently higher than that of hydrogen generated as a byproduct at chemical plants and steel works, needs to be reduced.

Another major challenge will be safely transporting large quantities of hydrogen from Fukushima to the Tokyo area.

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry will launch a panel in late March to work on creating a new energy-based community in Fukushima that will bring together representatives from local governments and electric power companies.

The panel will discuss hydrogen production, as well as the advisability of laying power transmission lines to support the construction of large-scale wind power generation plants in Fukushima’s Abukuma highland area and Pacific coastal areas.

  • George Kafantaris

    Why limit the source of hydrogen to wind when nuclear plants also produce hydrogen — in the huge volumes we need for transportation?
    The Fukushima disaster aside, nuclear energy was Japan’s secret economic weapon for the decades. It still can be.
    We must forever turn errors bottom-side-up to examine them — use what we learn to forge ahead. This is how we grow as nations, as communities, and as individuals.