The Japanese trade ministry (Meti) has proposed allocating up to ¥370bn ($3.4bn) to support hydrogen technology development in the next 10 years.
The allocation will come out of a ¥2 trillion government fund created to back green innovation projects in efforts to decarbonise its society by 2050.
The government has been discussing the allocation of the ¥2 trillion green innovation fund pledged by premier Yoshihide Suga as part of a strategy to smoothen Tokyo’s 2050 decarbonisation roadmap. The fund is divided into 18 projects in three development areas of carbon-neutral power, energy transition and industrial structure change.
Meti today proposed allocating ¥300bn for development of large-scale hydrogen import and supply chain, aiming for long-term supply cost reductions, at a panel discussing the use of the green innovation fund in the energy transition area.
The fund is expected to subsidise development and a demonstration project of hydrogen transport technology, as well as development of hydrogen liquefaction and hydrogenation technologies.
Japan’s potential demand for hydrogen is projected to hit 20mn t/yr in 2050, compared with 3mn t/yr in 2030. Japanese consortium Ahead in December last year completed a global hydrogen supply chain demonstration project using methylcyclohexane as a hydrogen carrier.
Another Japanese venture Hystra is also expected later this year to import hydrogen produced from brown coal, or lignite, at Australia’s Latrobe Valley on the liquefied hydrogen carrier Suiso Frontier.
The ¥300bn allocated for hydrogen technology development includes ¥26bn used to subsidise a verification and demonstration project of a hydrogen-fired or co-fired gas turbine power generating technology.
Some Japanese power firms have begun considering replacing part of their thermal power capacity with hydrogen-fired capacity, subject to completion of the technology development.
Meti also proposed allocating ¥70bn for developing a large-scale hydrogen production electrolyser as Japan targets to play catch-up with EU countries. Consortium FH2R is operating Japan’s biggest 10MW electrolyser to produce hydrogen using power generated at a 20MW solar unit in Fukushima.
The ¥2 trillion green innovation fund is managed by state-controlled research and development institute Nedo. Part of the fund earmarked for energy transition projects is also expected to be allocated later for other projects including development of an ammonia supply chain and hydrogen use in steelmaking.