Power generation, transport and heavy industries are the sectors that contribute the most to global emissions of greenhouse gases. Decarbonizing these sectors is a priority to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement and reach carbon neutrality by 2050. In Europe and Japan, hydrogen produced from carbon-free sources is increasingly seen as one of the solutions that will help decarbonize these sectors.
Projects using hydrogen as an alternative fuel are developing in various areas, including the energy-intensive steel industry, road and maritime transport, centralized and decentralized production of electricity.
After a first workshop in May 2021 focusing on green hydrogen production, in this second event, experts from Europe and Japan shared the latest developments on public policies and industrial solutions to develop the use of hydrogen in several sectors of the economy. They also opened a discussion on possible cooperation between Europe and Japan in hydrogen use projects.Agenda
The event was moderated by Professor Kazunari Sasaki, Senior Vice President of Kyushu University, Director of the International Research Center for Hydrogen Energy and Next-Generation Fuel Cell Research Center.Video recording
Presentations Access to presentation materials Summary
Professor Kazunari Sasaki, Senior Vice President of Kyushu University and moderator of the event, placed the workshop in the context of Europe and Japan’s current efforts towards achieving carbon neutrality. Following on from the last Hydrogen workshop in May, representatives from the Directorate General for Energy of the European Commission (DG ENER) and the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry of Japan (METI) then opened the discussion with an introduction of further developments in hydrogen policy frameworks, with a focus on heavy emitting sectors. Both parties were united on the idea that international cooperation was key in achieving carbon neutrality by 2050, and the importance of implementing hydrogen on a global scale.
Tudor Constantinescu, principal advisor at DG ENER, recapped on The European Green Deal as the key driver of green policy in the EU, and combined with the EU H2 strategy and The EU Clean Alliance, is making good progress towards achieving the target of having 40 gigawatts of electrolysers installed in Europe by 2030. An exciting new development presented was the Fit for 55 Package, introduced in July 2021, which aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 55% in 2030. One purpose of the package is the specific sub targets it sets out for ‘hard-to-decarbonise sectors’: 50% reduction for industry and 2.6% for transport. By setting specific targets for each industry it will ensure that continuous efforts are made to achieve them.
Following on, Yukari Hino, director of the hydrogen and fuel cells strategy office from METI recapped the Green Growth Strategy to support Japan’s 2050 Carbon Neutral Goal. Hydrogen is part of the 14 Growth Sectors included within this strategy and two goals for METI are to establish a hydrogen supply chain and scale up electrolysers – similarly aligning with the EU goals. The Basic Energy Strategy was discussed next, with Ms Hino stressing that to integrate Hydrogen further into society, cost reduction is key. The goal for Japan is to make hydrogen supply competitive with fossil fuels by 2030. The use of hydrogen will be promoted in all sectors including in transport, household, and power generation sectors. Japan is currently promoting global cooperation in Hydrogen use through the Hydrogen Energy Ministerial Meeting.
The first of the guests to speak was Satoshi Tanimura, chief engineer from Mitsubishi Power. Mr Tanimura began by highlighting how hydrogen and ammonia gas turbines are a crucial part to decarbonise the power generation sector. He stressed that a carbon neutral world can only be achieved over time, starting with the decarbonisation of thermal power through nuclear power, higher efficiency in industrial energy, promotion of carbon recycling and finally establishing a hydrogen value chain. Mr Tanimura introduced Mitsubishi’s three hydrogen combustion technologies, as well as two ammonia gas turbine systems. Lastly, he presented a partnership with the UK to build the world’s first net zero industrial cluster called Zero Carbon Humber.
Nikolaus Boltze from Thyssenkrupp was next to highlight their role in mitigating the CO2 emitted from the steel industry, which currently makes up 8% of global emissions. The German group has two roadmaps for contributing to a carbon neutral society. Firstly, a pathway that avoids CO2 emission by using hydrogen as a combustible for steel production and secondly, until that stage is reached, to make use of produced CO2 for other purposes. Thyssenkrupp are working to normalise hydrogen direct reduction plants which emit no CO2. Carbon2Chem, a project they are a part of, funded by the German federal ministry of education and research, are also working on solutions that produce raw material from the chemical industry by utilising the climate damaging CO2 produced in industrial production.
The transformation will be successful if policy makers create appropriate framework.Nikolaus Boltze, Thyssenkrupp
The third presentation was held by Dr Stephan Herbst from Toyota Motor Group, who introduced projects of hydrogen use in transportation in the EU and Japan. Dr Herbst started by stating that the next challenge for OME’s to integrate hydrogen further into society is cost reduction, where Toyota’s Multi Component strategy was introduced to achieve this. In Japan, Toyota is currently working alongside Hino to develop a hydrogen fuel cell truck, an area which is in significant need of decarbonisation. Smaller medium size trucks with fuel cells are already on the road in Japan used by companies such as retail group 7 Eleven. In Europe, Toyota is partnered with Caetano bus, a Portuguese bus manufacturing company, who have jointly developed the H2.City Gold, a Hydrogen bus powered by Toyota stack fuel cell which can travel up to 400 kilometers. He finished by stating the importance of international collaboration to achieve a carbon neutral society by 2050.
Together with governments, private companies and the financial sector, we can pursue a hydrogen society towards carbon neutrality.Stephan Herbst, Toyota Motor
Mr Samir Bennafla, head of sales in Japan-Asia-Pacific for H3 Dynamics, introduced their activities on hydrogen in air mobility. The company is working toward building autonomous and zero carbon flight, which they hope to achieve through their three-step plan: data acquisition and use, cargo delivery and finally passenger flights. Mr Bennafla introduced the Mermoz project, their current collaboration in France. Alongside Supaero, H3 Dynamics are building an ultra long-range drone which will fly across the Atlantic from Senegal to Brazil, a 30 hour flight powered by liquid hydrogen. This will be a momentous stamp on the history of zero-carbon mobility. Furthermore, H3 Dynamics believes instead of retrofitting technologies in aircrafts the next step will be codesigning to adapt to the propulsion system. H3 Dynamics are already developing AEROPAK XL pods, extremely lightweight fuel cells with high density hydrogen storage which allows for flight duration extension.
This next session was focused on both existing and future partnerships that could be formed between the EU and Japan regarding hydrogen use.
CMB, a major maritime shipping and logistics company from Belgium, opened the floor to the second part of this workshop. Yu Aonuma, representative director Japan, introduced the collaboration formed with Tsuneishi group in 2019 after they found a common strategic direction about alternative fuel. Together they built HydroBingo, the world’s first commercial passenger hydrogen ferry. After this great success, in April 2021 they also decided to strengthen their ties by entering a more comprehensive partnership JPNH2YDRO that will focus on importing and engineering CMB’s hydrogen internal combustion engine technology (H2ICE) to the Japanese market. They are now working towards the Hydro Phoenix, a more powerful tugboat. Mr Aonuma also highlighted that CMB has projects in other areas including offshore wind facilities, and their recent partnership with Itochu, Nippon Cokes Engineering to develop a hydrogen production and distribution business in Kita-Kyushu.
Following on, Dr Takayuki Urata from Panasonic was next to introduce the efforts on the dissemination of fuel cell cogeneration of heat and power and the company’s approach for hydrogen power generation. In 2017 Panasonic created an environment vision towards more efficient utilisation of energy. Ene-Farm is a residential fuel cogeneration system that generates electricity and hot water by using the reaction from city gas and oxygen in the air. The social role of Ene-farm is to reduce CO2 reduction in the home as well as being used for disaster resilience. In Europe the fuel cell power generation unit was launched in 2014 and since then has 7 countries involved. Panasonic’s latest cooperation in Europe, includes with Viessmann, to establish combined heat and power systems based on fuel cells, which are developed and manufactured in Europe.
Jeroen Schuppers from the European Commission DG research and innovation introduced the next topic of supporting research and innovation regarding use of hydrogen. Mr Schuppers educated the audience on past and present Public Private Partnership under Art. 18 between EU and Private sectors. The newest of which is Horizon Europe: Clean Hydrogen Europe Partnership (2021-2027) which is receiving a large 1000 million fund. The key goals of this project were further discussed, including the continuing development of Hydrogen Valleys as one of the core priorities. Next discussed was the Innovation fund. This is a particular fund that is linked to the European emission trading scheme which third countries outside Europe, such as Japan can participate in. Finally, international cooperation of hydrogen was discussed through the Mission on Hydrogen, part of Mission Innovation which was introduced in June 2021. The goal of this mission is to increase the cost competitiveness of clean hydrogen by reducing the end-to-end cost by USD 2 per kilogram by 2030, of which Japan is a core coalition member.
On the Japanese side, Eiji Ohira, General Manager at NEDO, gave an update on their new project based on the green innovation fund. The goal for NEDO is to make society run itself as quickly as possible, where they also believe one of the most pressing issues is how to reduce the cost of hydrogen. NEDO has created a model for the mass use of hydrogen in port areas, where a large amount of hydrogen is diverted from overseas and used for power generation in port areas. NEDO also participates in various international frameworks and platforms to exchange information and ideas. For example, they have been working with the German agency NOW for the past 10 years, exchanging information regarding hydrogen and holding workshops. NEDO also works with the United States to develop new protocols for hydrogen supply. Examples of models currently being implemented in overseas programs that began in the 1970s include Smart Brit and Wind Power in Europe. NEDO is also considering thermal power generation using hydrogen as a core technology, with a budget of 300 billion yen (3 trillion yen) to be invested.
In the final stages of the workshop, Jorgo Chatzimarkakis secretary general of Hydrogen Europe reminded everyone of the need for collaboration to achieve targets that have been set for 2050. Particularly, how Japanese, and European industries of hydrogen could further work together. Mr Chatzimarkakis explained the Fit for 55 package is the biggest change in legislation since the establishment of the internal market.
Hydrogen has become the cornerstone of the transition to a sustainable economy.Jorgo Chatzimarkakis, Hydrogen Europe
He picked up on some particularly ambitious figures from the targets and recognises that European industry alone may not be good enough to reach them. For example, CO2 standards for cars and vans have been adapted for hydrogen. Yet, there are still very few European OMEs being active in this sector. Japanese companies such as Toyota and Honda, however, have strong projects in this area, therefore Mr Chatzimarkakis believes this is a clear opportunity for Japanese products to thrive in the European market. Another opportunity for collaboration that was mentioned was the Lighthouse project Initiatives, which act as catalysts to push forward hydrogen projects and legislations, giving room for Japanese partners with these projects to accelerate this implementation. Mr Chatzimarkakis then finished by debunking important myths regarding hydrogen. For example, due to China’s boom in electric battery cars, it is often perceived that electric batteries are more efficient in usage than its hydrogen counterpart. However, once raw material calculations are included, overall hydrogen uses 70x less critical raw material than electric batteries. Mr Chatzimarkakis believes this is something that Europeans and Japanese alike should broadcast together.
The final presentation of the day was hosted by Seiji Maeda of Japan Hydrogen association JH2A. As a relatively new association established in December 2020, Mr Maeda introduced the mission of this association, which is to support early creation of a hydrogen society by carrying out social implementation projects. The goals they wish to realize are to create a demand for hydrogen, cut costs by innovation and provide funds to overcome what is currently an immature market due to the insufficient infrastructure for social implementation. There are already 226 companies that are members of the association, including financial institutions. As a new organisation they are still in the early stages of international cooperation but are currently in talks with New Zealand and Australia regarding hydrogen supply chain, and they hope that in the near future they can create joint ventures with Europe also.
For the panel discussion the question ‘how can we accelerate EU-Japan cooperation?’ was opened for the floor to answer.
Among many answers from guest speakers, Mr Takayuki believed that the collaboration and knowledge sharing between Europe and Japan is a very important reason to cooperate to realize the concept of the hydrogen valley.
Mr Schuppers also agreed with Mr Takayuki on the aspect of Hydrogen Valleys, and further believes that in terms of research and innovation there are two main goals. First to strengthen cooperation on pre-competitive issues that investigate sustainability and life cycle analysis. This is vital because it can lead to universal technical and safety standards as well as suitability criteria and certification schemes, not just for clean hydrogen but also for the associated commodities such as clean steel. Secondly, to collaborate on the sharing of knowledge and practices, especially through the clean hydrogen mission and the mission innovation where both the EU and Japan are actively participating.
For concluding remarks, Tudor Constantinescu (DG ENER) and Yukari Hino (METI), returned to the stage to express their views on today’s event. Both were impressed by the number of projects that were currently being undertaken. They were also eager to remind everyone of the importance that collaboration between Europe and Japan will hold in the coming years to integrate hydrogen further into society, in order to achieve a carbon neutral society by 2050.
Finally, to close the event, Professor Kazunari Sasaki once again took the stage to summarise the event and share some of his insightful views. He appreciates that countries tend to have different opinions on policies, which at times can be difficult to coordinate. However, Professor Kazunari believes that combining these diverse ideas and finding a way to unify them is one of the EU’s greatest strengths. Although Japan is not a member of the EU, he hopes Japan’s long-standing knowledge and expertise of hydrogen use can be utilised to collaborate with Europe in the same way, to advance the use of hydrogen in the coming years. Professor Kazunari further believed some key points for a successful future of international cooperation was standardisation and creating joint establishment of regulations, along with the sharing of know-how and technologies. This will undoubtedly create a global shift in steadily transitioning our way into a carbon neutral society.More about the speaking organizations
The Directorate General for Energy of the European Commission is responsible for the EU’s energy policy: secure, sustainable, and competitively priced energy for Europe. Hydrogen is an investment priority for the European Commission, as highlighted in its Hydrogen Strategy published in July 2020. It will play an important role in the EU strategy for energy system integration and the EU Green New Deal, to build a cost effective and decarbonized energy system in Europe. | More about the Directorate General for Energy
The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) is in charge of economic and industrial development and administration related to mineral and energy resources. The “Basic Hydrogen Strategy” (2017) and the “Strategic Roadmap for Hydrogen and Fuel Cells” (2019) established by METI position hydrogen as a priority field. This role was confirmed in the Green Growth Strategy introduced by METI at the end of 2020 to support the 2050 goal of carbon neutrality. | More about the Ministry of Economy Trade and Industry
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI), headquartered in Tokyo, is one of the world’s leading industrial firms, with 80000 employees. Created more than 130 years ago, MHI delivers solutions across a wide range of industries from commercial aviation and transportation to power plants and gas turbines, and from machinery and infrastructure to integrated defense and space systems. | More about Mitsubishi Heavy Industries
thyssenkrupp is an international group of companies comprising largely of independent industrial and technology businesses headquartered in Germany. Across 60 countries the group generated sales of €29 billion in fiscal 2019/20 with 104,000 employees from 149 nations. The more than 200 years history is based in the iron- and steel-industry but its expertise also extends to machines and industrial services, chemicals, aerospace, automobile components, shipbuilding, supply-chain solutions etc. Continuous effort is spent on innovative solutions for the production, transportation, storage, and transformation of renewable and fossil energies. thyssenkrupp is since 1859 active in Japan with 4 entities and 300 employees. | More about thyssenkrupp
Toyota Motor is a Japanese multinational founded in 1937, the largest automobile manufacturer in the world based on 2020 unit sales, and the largest listed company in Japan by market capitalization. The company is the global leader in sales of hybrid electric and in hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles. Toyota Motor started operations in Europe in 1963. Toyota Motor Europe now employs over 25000 people, overseeing the sales and marketing of vehicles and managing Toyota’s manufacturing and engineering operations in the region. | More about Toyota Motor Europe
H3 Dynamics is a French-Singaporean manufacturer and ultralight hydrogen electric systems developer. It was one of the very first companies to develop hydrogen electric planes, providing fuel cell systems for NASA and Boeing. H3 Dynamics also provides cloud-based inspection services platforms using drones and ground robots, combined with AI and 3D modeling technologies. | More about H3 Dynamics
Based in Antwerp, CMB is a diversified shipping and logistics group from Belgium, with offices located worldwide including one in Japan where the company has been working for 40 years. Major player in the maritime industry and shipping, CMB is under the spotlight for affirming its international role in the hydrogen transition of ships. Since 2017, it has developed various dual fuel and monofuel hydrogen engines and applications on its own or with its partners. | More about CMB
Panasonic Corporation, established in 1918, is a worldwide leader in the development of diverse electronics technologies and solutions for customers in the consumer electronics, housing, automotive, and B2B businesses. The company has more than 240.000 employees. Panasonic is conducting research throughout the hydrogen value chain, and has been commercializing residential fuel cell systems ENE-FARM since 2009. This latter is using hydrogen extracted from city gas to produce electricity and hot water at home.| More about Panasonic
The Directorate-General for Research and Innovation (DG RTD) is the department of the European Commission responsibles for the EU policy on research, science and innovation, by carrying out policies and coordinating member states research related activities. The EU Commission has conducted research and innovation on clean hydrogen under its Horizon 2020 research programme, supporting the development of hydrogen-powered buses, training tools, and low-cost electrolysers for instance. Horizon Europe (2021-2027) is supporting additional research and innovation in this area. | More about the Directorate General for Research and Innovation
NEDO is the Japanese national research and development agency promoting and supporting the technological development necessary for the realization of a sustainable society. It aims to solve social issues as an innovation accelerator that develops and demonstrates high-risk innovative technologies and promotes the social implementation of the results. | More about NEDO
Hydrogen Europe brings together diverse industry players, large companies and SMEs, who support the delivery of hydrogen and fuel cells technologies. It represents the European hydrogen and fuel cell sector, with more than 260 member companies and 27 member national associations. The objective of Hydrogen Europe is to enable the adoption of hydrogen as a fuel for Europe’s low carbon economy. | More about Hydrogen Europe
The Japan Hydrogen Association (JH2A) was launched in December 2020 to promote the formation of a hydrogen supply chain and global partnerships in the hydrogen sector. The JH2A will make policy proposals to the government, undertake international collaborations with other related organizations, conduct research and analysis. It currently gathers 195 companies, organizations and local governments. | More about JH2A
The EU-Japan Centre currently produces 5 newsletters :