Japanese society must cope with structural vulnerabilities such as an aging population, a low energy self-sufficiency rate, and a high probability of earthquakes. The Japanese people live on the risk that a major disaster is likely to occur in the near future even as they try to deal with the issues raised by their own rapidly aging society and global competition for energy resources. Within this context, hydrogen, which is an energy resource with high potential, offers a promising option for achieving a sustainable society. This paper proposes a new innovation model of hydrogen stations that provide electricity in times of disaster as well as function as a platform for a business ecosystem in normal times. This business ecosystem will involve people from a diverse range of industries and businesses and is certain to enhance social receptivity to the emergence of a hydrogen-based society.
This questionnaire survey regarding public acceptance of hydrogen energy and hydrogen stations in Japan was conducted in the Tokyo metropolitan area (Tokyo, Kanagawa, Saitama, and Chiba prefectures) in November 2009. The respondents were adult males and females and the valid response was 800 (response rate: 51.4%). The selected methodology was stratified two-step sampling (area sampling), and surveyor-visit and self-completion questionnaire. There will be two types of hydrogen station installation in future: attaching to existing gas stations and building on new sites. Therefore, in order to analyze the acceptance of each installation type, the respondents were divided into two groups: living near gas stations (within a 100 m radius) and else. This is one of the remarkable features in this survey.
This survey suggests that the respondents generally show preference in accepting hydrogen stations to some extent, which would suggest higher acceptance. It also suggests that concerns about technological reliability, types and potential of system accidents in hydrogen stations can reduce the acceptance level, while “recognition that the society needs this” can improve acceptance level. Based on these findings, possible ways of future communication were discussed.
This article reviews the US and European experiences on public acceptance of hydrogen energy. US DOE has developed many information tools and on-line seminars for public, first responders, teachers / students and policy-makers. German “HyTrust” project provides citizens perception on hydrogen energy and experiences on the improvement of public acceptance through citizens’ conference.
For the popularization of fuel cell vehicles and hydrogen stations, a public acceptance improvement is needed. To get a feel close to fuel cell vehicles and hydrogen stations to everyone, JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corporation has implemented the followings. One is the promotion of educational activities related to hydrogen. The other is a practice and certification of “safety and security” through the construction and operation evaluation of hydrogen stations under conditions of actual use. This paper introduces our recent efforts.
Iwatani Corporation has been engaged in educational activities on promoting a more accurate understanding of the hydrogen energy and environment-related issue to children who will be major players in the next generation. Iwantani also continously host a hydrogen energy forum every year to foster momentum of encouraging broad use for hydrogen energy and to provide many opportunities for someone to work as collaborator. It is important to continue educational activities but there is a limit in the activitiy of one private company. It would be desired for broad industry cooperation and governmental support for the sustained activities.
Honda has engaged in the development of fuel cell electric vehicles (FCV) based on its understanding that fuel cells utilizing hydrogen are the ultimate next –generation power plant. In parallel to the work on this, Honda is also engaging in developing a solar hydrogen station, as a hydrogen supplying means for the FCVs. In 2008, Honda launched the world’s first sedan-type FCV, “FCX Clarity” and started leasing it to customers. Honda has been continuously working on promoting and educating the technology, by using the FCX Clarity, toward the realization of hydrogen society in future. Here we will introduce Honda’s efforts for spread-type FCVs to be put on the market in 2015.
In Fukuoka Prefecture, we have been working on hydrogen energy projects for the last 10 years, beginning with the establishment of the “Fukuoka Strategy Conference for Hydrogen Energy” in August 2004. Through our continued pioneering efforts, we have steadily pursued the project with a focus on increasing the social acceptability of hydrogen energy and gaining the understanding of local residents. Here this article describes on our past demonstration activities as well as our current activities, which center on constructing a base for Fuel Cell Vehicles.
In Yamanashi Prefecture, to aim the realization of a hydrogen energy society, we will advance the development and integration of the industry related to fuel cell, and to strive promoting local industry.
HySUT is an association founded in July 2009 aiming to establish hydrogen supply infrastructure and to improve hydrogen business environment. So far, total of 19 private companies/associations (mainly from the field of energy and auto-industry) with desire to realize low carbon society by hydrogen supply became members of HySUT. We carried out “Local Hydrogen supply infrastructure technical & social demonstration” - sub item “Technical & Social demonstration study (JHFC3)” sponsored by New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) and social acceptance activity survey in JHFC3.
Recent environmental and energy issues push up a change of energy source from the fossil fuel to others. Hydrogen is one of the possible candidates for such energy source. Hydrogen has different combustion characteristics compared with other fuels. Hydrogen has wide flammability range and high laminar burning velocity due to its light weight. Additionally, hydrogen known as an extremely clean fuel can reduce environmental emissions caused by combustion. In this paper, some combustion characteristics of hydrogen are reviewed compared with other fuel gas.