Japan has great expectations for a hydrogen society

Noriko Behling, Mark C. Williams, Shunsuke Managi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Japan is implementing a long-term strategic energy policy that could transform the country into a "Hydrogen Society." The new policy started this year and is to be carried out over the next 30 years and beyond. The Hydrogen Society Policy consists of three phases of activities and goals, each phase covering about 10 years and overwrapping with the subsequent phases. During Phase 1, Japan will engage in large-scale commercialization of stationary fuel cells, fuel cell vehicles, and hydrogen refueling stations. The policy is a daring undertaking that no other country has ever attempted; indeed, it is Japan's desperate measure for desperate times. The driving factor for the country to embark on such a dramatic plan was the grave threat to the nation's economy, environment, and energy security caused by the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011. For the past 40 years, Japan depended on thermal power and nuclear energy. Since the 3.11, all nuclear power generation has been shut down-except for a two facilities that recently were restarted-forcing Japan to depend on thermal power almost entirely. As a result, the country's imports of foreign fuels soared, rapidly draining national wealth, increasing CO2 emissions, and lowering the country's energy self-sufficiency. This paper will examine the factors that drove Japan to implement the Hydrogen Society Policy, the concept of Japan's future hydrogen society, Phase 1 activities and their goals, the first-year government budget for Phase 1, and Japan's near term perspective of the economic returns from the Hydrogen Society Policy.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFuel Cell Seminar and Energy Exposition 2015
EditorsM. C. Williams
PublisherElectrochemical Society Inc.
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781607687108
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventFuel Cell Seminar and Energy Exposition 2015 - Los Angeles, United States
Duration: Nov 11 2015Nov 16 2015

Publication series

NameECS Transactions
ISSN (Print)1938-6737
ISSN (Electronic)1938-5862


OtherFuel Cell Seminar and Energy Exposition 2015
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityLos Angeles

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Engineering(all)


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