Model project in Japan will use surplus energy to produce hydrogen fuelOctober 7, 2014
Ministry of the Environment launches new project to use excess renewable energy and produce hydrogen
The Japanese government has launched a new model project highlighting the country’s hydrogen fuel infrastructure. Japan is expected to become a prominent market for fuel cell vehicles that will be launched over the next few years. In order for the country to solidify its place as a leading market, however, it must have a working hydrogen infrastructure in place. This infrastructure is needed to support fuel cell vehicles, which use hydrogen as a power source rather than petroleum.
Project may help identify and resolve some hydrogen infrastructure problems
Japan’s Ministry of the Environment wants to use surplus electrical power generated from renewable sources, such as solar and wind energy, to produce hydrogen fuel. This project aims to maximize the value of surplus energy while also addressing issues with hydrogen production. Conventional production methods are quite energy intensive and reliant on fossil-fuels. This makes fuel cell vehicles somewhat less environmentally friendly than they are meant to be. By using surplus renewable energy, hydrogen can be produced with minimal impact on the environment.
Energy for the project will come from wind and solar farms based in Hokkaido
The majority of the surplus energy that will be generated for the project is expected to come from Hokkaido, where many of the country’s solar and wind projects have taken form. The Ministry of the Environment intends to spend $27,000 on the project through 2015. Depending on the project’s performance, the ministry may seek further funding in the future. Some of the money that will be used for the project will go toward purchasing the surplus energy provided by projects based in Hokkaido.
Surplus electrical energy will be used to power the electrolysis process
The energy that will be used for the project will be funneled to various facilities where water will be broken down into its component parts of hydrogen and oxygen. This is accomplished through a chemical process known as electrolysis. This process requires electrical power in order to produce any significant amount of hydrogen.