Japan, 20 nations agree to increase hydrogen output

Japan, 20 nations agree to increase hydrogen output

TOKYO More than 20 countries, led by Japan, have agreed to increase output of low-emission hydrogen to at least 90 million tons a year by 2030 from 1 million tons now, the Japanese industry ministry said on Monday.

The agreement between countries including Germany, Australia, and the United States came to an end at the Hydrogen Energy Ministerial Meeting in Tokyo.

Many countries, including resource-poor Japan are facing a historic energy security risk due to Moscow's invasion of Ukraine, with the threat of gas supply disruptions at a time when global supply is tight and spot prices are sky-high.

Tokyo said that we believe that strategically increasing the production and use of low carbon and renewable hydrogen can contribute significantly to energy security, resilience and climate goals, and that there needs to be more countries and regions to take concrete measures to increase hydrogen production.

Hydrogen is seen as the future green fuel of choice and key to decarbonising industries that rely on coal, gas and oil - such as steel and chemicals -- in turn helping in the fight against global warming. It is important to Japan's goal to achieve net-zero emissions by the year 2050.

The International Energy Agency says 90 million tons of blue hydrogen produced from natural gas but eliminating emissions by using electrolysis powered by renewable energy - a year from 2030 is slightly less than the 95 million tons required to achieve its 2050 net zero scenario.

In a recent report, the IEA said that more policy support is needed to drive new and cleaner uses of hydrogen in heavy industry and long-distance transport.

Japan hopes to boost its annual hydrogen supply, including imports, to 3 million tons by 2030, from around 2 million tons now.