In 2017 the Japanese government became the first in the world to formulate a national hydrogen strategy, declaring that “Japan should lead the globe in hydrogen use.” However, five years later, Japan has performed far below its main goal of increasing uptake of fuel cells and fuel cell vehicles, and Japan’s efforts in producing green hydrogen needed to achieve a decarbonized society have fallen behind those of European countries, China, and other nations.
This report provides an overview of global trends in hydrogen use and production; it examines strategies in Europe, China, Australia and other countries, and identifies the fallacy of the Japanese government’s vision of a “hydrogen society where hydrogen is used in every sector." It also points out the risk that the government's policy of prioritizing gray and blue hydrogen derived from fossil fuels will undermine the efforts of Japanese companies that have been building up to this point.
We hope that this report will contribute to constructive discussions for rebuilding Japan's hydrogen strategy.
The English version of the report is a preliminary and partial translation of the Japanese original. Chapters translated into English are marked with an asterisk (Contents, Introduction, Chapter 4 and Conclusion).
Chapter 1. Hydrogen’s Role in Decarbonization—Discarding the “Hydrogen Society” Fantasy
1. Level of Priority of Hydrogen Applications
2. Building Sector
3. Industrial and Transportation Sectors
4. Power Sector
Chapter 2. Green Hydrogen Dominates
1. Decrease in Green Hydrogen Costs
2. Energy Crisis Increases Competitiveness of Green Hydrogen
Chapter 3. Global Hydrogen Strategy Trends, with a Focus on Europe
1. EU’s Hydrogen Strategy
2. Germany’s Hydrogen Strategy
3. China’s Hydrogen Strategy
4. Trends in Green Hydrogen Development in Other Countries
5. Increasingly Rigorous Global Blue Hydrogen Emission Standards
Chapter 4. Issues with Japan’s Hydrogen Strategy and Direction for Rebuilding*
1. Selection of Low Priority Applications
2. Prioritization of Fossil Fuel-based Gray and Blue Hydrogen
3. Significant Lag in Domestic Green Hydrogen Production
4. Argument for Rebuilding Hydrogen Strategy
1. Hydrogen Type by Color and CO2 Emissions
2. Cost Structure of Hydrogen
3. Expressing Hydrogen Quantities
4. Companies’ Disclosures on “Table 2. Main Electrolyser Companies and Development Status”