Coalition forms to boost global hydrogen supply chain

8 December 2020

The Toyota Motor Corporation has launched a new organisation to accelerate the creation of a hydrogen supply chain.

The Japan Hydrogen Association (JH2A) is made up of 87 companies which aim to support the early development of hydrogen use globally through collaborative partnerships and projects around production, supply chain, and meeting increased demand.

The cross-sector organisation was formed in response to the growing global trend towards hydrogen energy as part of efforts to cut carbon emissions. It will tackle issues around energy demand, innovation to cut costs across manufacturing, transportation and storage, and boosting funding for businesses.

In the New Year, working groups are scheduled to discuss next steps, identify key hydrogen use issues, and make policy and project proposals to the Japanese government.

Planned projects will cover developing local production and tackling global hydrogen supply chain problems across manufacturing, transportation and storage. Work will take place to increase use by commercial vehicles, railways, ships and the chemicals and steel industries.

JH2A is being led by Takeshi Uchiyamada, Toyota Motor chairman, Takeshi Kunibe, chairman of Sumotimo Mitsui Financial Group, and Akiji Makino, chairman and CEO of gas company Iwatani Corporation. It also has nine managing board members, including energy firm ENEOS, and manufacturers Kobe Steel and Toshiba Corporation.  

The Japanese government first established a hydrogen strategy in 2017 and has since developed a strategic roadmap for developing the fuel source.

Industry minister Hiroshi Kajiyama said the government planned to use part of a $19bn fund (2trn yen) for research and development of decarbonisation to support hydrogen technology, reported Reuters.

The UK is also considering how hydrogen energy can be used for transport, shipping, and powering buildings, to achieve the net zero green house gas emissions by 2050 target, according to a report by the National Audit Office (NAO).

The NAO said that “net zero will require a ten-fold increase in hydrogen production” and there will need to be “changes to existing gas distribution networks to make them ‘hydrogen ready’”.

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