June 18, 2023


Green Hydrogen from Fukushima Fueling Zero-Carbon Initiatives (Hashino Yukinori, 6/14/23, Nippon.com)

In the wake of the meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station in 2011, the Japanese government made bolstering renewable energy output a priority, prompting the construction of a slew of large-scale solar and wind farms in Japan. Fukushima's Hamadōri, the coastal area that was the epicenter of the nuclear disaster, drew a number of big projects launched through the Fukushima Innovation Coast Framework, a government initiative that aims to build new industrial infrastructure in the area.

While solar and wind offer bountiful carbon-free energy, their output varies according to factors like weather and time of day. While advances in power storage promise to help alleviate issues of intermittency, improving on the high-capacity batteries used in solar and wind farms present many hurdles, both in terms of cost and technology.

The Fukushima Hydrogen Energy Research Field offers a viable alternative to batteries for storing energy from renewable sources. The facility is home to a 20 megawatt solar farm that powers one of the world's largest hydrogen plants, where hydrogen from water is extracted through the process of electrolysis. The hydrogen can then be used to generate electricity to power vehicles and for other purposes, with the only byproduct being water. Hydrogen produced in this manner, called "green hydrogen," emits no carbon dioxide and has gained attention as a clean form of energy. Kept under pressure in tanks, hydrogen can be stored for extended periods and transported over long distances.

Posted by at June 18, 2023 9:47 AM