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ERIA Holds East Asia Summit Hydrogen Workshop in Japan

18 October 2022

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Kobe, 18 October 2022: Hydrogen demand and production potential in the East Asian Summit (EAS) region compared with the global hydrogen situation and outlook was the focus of the East Asia Summit (EAS) Hydrogen Workshop organised by the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) and the Institute of Energy Economics Japan (IEEJ), with support from the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI), Japan.

The workshop noted that since the UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow in 2021, carbon neutrality has become globally relevant, with hydrogen production acknowledged as an important zero-emission technology. Hydrogen, as indicated in the workshop, is a versatile fuel that can be used for power generation, transport, heating, and space missions, and can replace fossil fuels, coal, oil, and gas. Whilst considering issues and challenges surrounding hydrogen technology development, the workshop noted that the hydrogen policies of EAS countries, especially those of hydrogen technology frontrunners such as Japan, play a crucial role in achieving a carbon-neutral society by 2050 by pioneering the creation of optimal hydrogen supply networks in the EAS region and setting up a conducive environment for hydrogen business.

Ms Hino Yukari, Director of Advanced Energy Systems and Structure Division, Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Strategy Office, Agency for Natural Resources and Energy, METI, Japan, emphasised the importance of hydrogen for decarbonisation. She said that even from an energy security standpoint, shifting to clean energy to attain carbon neutrality would  result in the rapid increase in the significance and function of hydrogen. Noting the replacement of fossil fuels in the power sector's ultimate energy consumption, Ms Hino added that the potential for hydrogen demand would be enormous. To reduce hydrogen supply cost, she said innovation in technological development and scaling up hydrogen demand are necessary.

Mr Shigeru Kimura, ERIA’s Special Adviser on Energy Affairs, focused on the hydrogen demand forecast in the ASEAN region. Presenting the low-carbon energy transition scenario, he explained that six ASEAN countries would use hydrogen for final use and power generation until 2050 to achieve carbon neutrality. He enumerated three points necessary to enhance the deployment of hydrogen: progress of hydrogen technology in both supply and demand sides; clear government policy; and holding of regional and international conferences, seminars, and workshops to increase common understanding of hydrogen.

Mr Emanuele Bianco, Programme Officer of the International Renewable Energy Agency, discussed the hydrogen trading considerations covering the technical potential for producing green hydrogen and the strategy, as well as plans and agreements, to expand networks of hydrogen trade routes. He elaborated on stated policy framing in hydrogen strategic documents and policies as well as green hydrogen policy priorities.

Mr Hiroki Yoshida, Deputy Director of Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Strategy Office, ANRE, METI Japan, pointed out Japan’s vision and actions towards hydrogen economy. He said that Japan has designated hydrogen production as a priority area for the Green Growth Strategy, and that the country is attempting to further introduce hydrogen and decrease its cost through the green innovation fund and other initiatives.

Eight panellists discussed issues and challenges in hydrogen utilisation: Ms Rebecca Thomson, Manager, Hydrogen Strategy Team, Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water of Australia; Mr Shaikh Mohamad Faiz bin Shaikh Hj Fadilah, Special Duties Officer II, Renewable Energy Unit, Sustainable Energy Division, Department of Energy, Prime Minister’s Office of Brunei Darussalam; Dr Zheng Lyu, Deputy Director, Carbon Data and Carbon Assessment Research Center, Shanghai Advanced Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China; Dr Natarajan Rajalakshmi, Professor, Indian Institute of Technology Dharwad, India; Mrs Andriah Feby Misna, Director of Directorate, Various New and Renewable Energy, Directorate General of New Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation, Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, Indonesia; Mr Ohira Eiji, Director General, Fuel Cell & Hydrogen Office, Advanced Battery and Hydrogen Technology Department, The New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization, Japan;  Mr Khairul Anuar Mukhtar, Senior Assistant Secretary, Electricity Supply Policy and Planning, Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources, Malaysia; and Mr Mark Pickup, Principal Policy Advisor, Energy Markets Policy, Energy & Resource Markets Branch, Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment, New Zealand. They presented their countries’ hydrogen strategies and current challenges in enhancing their hydrogen capacity. They discussed their renewable electricity situations and future strategies; hydrogen development plans; priority areas of implementation such as power generation, transport, and industry; and policies as well as the obstacles they confront in their efforts to increase hydrogen production capacity.

Dr Alloysius Joko Purwanto, ERIA’s Energy Economist, moderated the panel discussion.

The workshop closed with remarks from Prof Jun Arima, Senior Policy Fellow for Energy and Environment of ERIA, underscored the importance of addressing the current energy crisis and pursue ambitious carbon neutrality goals. He stated that in September 2022, the EAS Energy Ministerial Meeting acknowledged the significance of achieving a realistic energy transition by utilizing a variety of alternative and emerging low-carbon technologies, such as fuel ammonia, hydrogen, biomass, clean coal technology, and Carbon Capture Utilisation Storage (CCUS). Prof Arima further highlighted that ERIA and IEEJ are conducted cost-optimal roadmap technology optimisation scenarios to attain carbon neutrality in the ASEAN region by 2060. This analysis emphasized the importance of hydrogen and ammonia as crucial technologies for achieving carbon neutrality by 2030.

Following the workshop, participants from ERIA, IEEJ, Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, and Malaysia visited the Hydrogen Project Facility of Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. in Kobe Port Island, Kobe. The facility, utilising hydrogen co-generation system, houses a hydrogen-receiving terminal that has a 2,500-square-meter capacity spherical liquefied hydrogen storage tank. The facility is a component of the Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain, an Australia–Japan initiative that has established a demonstration project to safely manufacture liquid hydrogen from brown coal in Australia's Latrobe Valley in Victoria and then transport it to Kobe.

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