Japan’s hydrogen energy market could reach ¥8 trillion by 2050, government report says


The market for hydrogen energy in Japan is projected to expand to ¥1 trillion in 2030 and reach ¥8 trillion in 2050, with research and development accelerating for a form of energy said to be environmentally friendly, a government-affiliated body said Wednesday.

In its first report on hydrogen energy, the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization said Japan is already highly competitive in the field, and should aim to take the lead, especially in the promising area of fuel-cell vehicles.

Fuel-cell vehicles are powered by electricity generated through the chemical reaction of hydrogen and oxygen. They emit no carbon dioxide, a greenhouse — or heat-trapping — gas.

The report also noted the importance of further promoting hydrogen energy in the hope of reducing Japan’s dependence on oil and ensuring energy security.

Toyota Motor Corp. will begin selling a sedan-type fuel-cell vehicle in Japan by next March, likely becoming the world’s first carmaker to sell such vehicles.

Other domestic automakers, such as Nissan Motor Co. and Honda Motor Co., are developing similar vehicles, with plans to start selling them in 2017 and 2015, respectively.

The promotion of hydrogen energy and related products is part of the growth strategy advocated by the government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.