2019 Volume 61 Issue 195 Pages 10-14
Hydrogen is a secondary energy that can be easily converted through water from carbonaceous resources such as coal and natural gas, various high temperature heat sources and electricity. It concerns not only a direct use of hydrogen but also an effective energy storage and an energy conservation. These advantages of the feature of hydrogen enable us to establish a hydrogen energy society. Besides of fossil fuels, hydrogen, electricity, and synthetic fuel are utilized as secondary energy in the right place for the right place, and efficiently supply and operate the heat and power necessary for our daily life. This complements the shortcomings of the electrical system which can be said to be the most important in modern society and contributes to the stabilization of electricity supply and demand balance by renewable energy such as solar power and wind power. In this article, features of hydrogen energy system for a low carbon society are introduced to exhibit the requirements concerning production, storage/transportation and utilization. Also, the background of various initiatives aimed at establishing a hydrogen society, the situation of research and development, Japan's basic hydrogen strategy and international trends are described to demonstrate prospects of future trends of technological developments.