Today, the whole world is trying to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels. The vast supplies of coal and oil are exhaustible after all, and given the list of pollutants they emit and their adverse impact on the environment, the tendency is absolutely understandable. The world offers us an abundance of renewable energy sources and those who see far into the future are smart enough to use them.
However, unlike the countries that want to minimize the use of fossil fuels and nuclear energy, Japan is among those that have no other options. Since the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in 2011, Japan has had to rely on other sources of energy. The country’s 48 nuclear reactors are still shut down and Japan faces an uncertain energy future. At the moment, their plans include making hydrogen the main energy source in the country.
There are two main reasons why the Japanese are investing in hydrogen technology. Firstly, they believe that the dominant use of hydrogen and renewable energy will have a beneficial environmental effect by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and slowing climate change. The other, more obvious one is staying technologically and economically competitive with other countries. One of the ways to achieve these goals is popularization of hydrogen vehicles.
Kitakyushu Hydrogen Station
The Kitakyushu Hydrogen Station is the first of its kind in Japan – an off-site station to which hydrogen is directly delivered via pipelines. It was built as a fueling base under the “Hydrogen Highway” project in 2009. The station serves for refilling hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and the most interesting fact about it is that the hydrogen which is delivered to the station is a byproduct generated during the manufacture of iron.
In an interview given to “The Economic Times