*Image from Widipedia
Fukushima disaster sparks new interest in hydrogen fuel
Japan has ambitious plans in term of energy. The country is still recovering from last year’s Fukushima disaster, in which a powerful earthquake triggered a tsunami that wrought havoc in the Northern provinces and sparked a nuclear disaster. In the wake of the disaster, the Japanese government determined that the country would no longer rely on nuclear energy because of the danger that it presented. The nation recently shut down the last of its nuclear power plants and has been working to fill the void left behind with other forms of energy. Hydrogen fuel appears to have become the country’s favored option.
ENE-FARM wins more support from Japanese officials
Japan already boasts of a powerful hydrogen fuel system called the ENE-FARM. In the wake of the Fukushima disaster, the ENE-FARM was able to keep many of the country’s metropolitan cities supplied with electricity. This led Japanese officials to throw their support behind hydrogen fuel and its associated technology. Though the country has begun its adoption and incorporation of hydrogen fuel, it still faces the challenges that exist with fuel cell technology that has kept the alternative energy from entering the mainstream for several years.
Country targets hydrogen fuel infrastructure
The most significant problem that Japan is facing with its use of hydrogen fuel is infrastructure. As in other parts of the world, Japan’s hydrogen fuel infrastructure is lacking. While this has obvious implications for the auto industry, which is currently working to commercialize hydrogen-powered vehicles, a lackluster infrastructure is also likely to make the energy unattractive to industrial companies. These companies would rely on the country’s hydrogen fuel infrastructure to receive the hydrogen they need to power fuel cells. Japan is currently working on bolstering this infrastructure, believing that it will offset the lack of nuclear energy and provide some economical benefits.
A strong infrastructure could bring economic prosperity
A comprehensive hydrogen fuel infrastructure will make Japan an ideal market for the auto industry’s new fuel cell vehicles. When these vehicles are released, the country is expected to see increased economic activity. A stronger infrastructure will also mean that the country can begin breaking away from foreign sources of energy, cutting down on the costs of transporting fuel from other parts of the world.