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Chinese hydrogen to help Japan reach its greenhouse gas emissions goals

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Japan’s Green Growth Strategy commits the country to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, and hydrogen produced from renewable energy can help with this transition.

A group of Harvard University, Shandong University, China University of Petroleum Beijing, and Huazhong University of Science and Technology researchers investigated the feasibility of creating hydrogen by electrolysis utilizing power provided by offshore wind in China.

“This research helps build the case that Japan can not only meet the formidable challenge of transitioning to net-zero emissions, but it can also be cost-competitive,” says lead author Shaojie Song, Research Associate at Harvard University’s John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences’ Harvard-China Project on Energy, Economy, and Environment. “Our research indicates that hydrogen produced in China might be delivered at a volume and cost comparable with Japan’s future estimates.”

The team looked at the possibilities for a green hydrogen supply chain to Japan that would be delivered hourly from every Chinese coastline province, taking into account various wind investment levels, electrolysis technology, and transportation mechanisms. The hydrogen created might be supplied to Japan in two forms: liquid hydrogen bound to a chemical carrier like toluene, or as a component of ammonia.

According to the experts, offshore wind power from China might produce up to 12 petawatt-hours of electricity every year. They calculated the costs of offshore wind, chemical conversion processes, and storage, transportation, and delivery systems. Even if offshore wind expansion follows a high-cost scenario, the study discovered that Chinese sources might supply Japan with cost-competitive hydrogen by 2030.

“Green hydrogen production in China would benefit not only Japan’s net-zero transition, but also both countries’ plans for future carbon neutrality,” says author Michael B. McElroy, the Gilbert Butler Professor of Environmental Studies at Harvard University and the Chair of the Harvard-China Project. “A deeper business link between China and Japan could promote similar cross-fertilization of energy breakthroughs such as fuel cell technologies.” Furthermore, green hydrogen generation from offshore wind in China has the potential to expand to South Korea, which has similarly ambitious aspirations for increased hydrogen use as a fuel and feedstock.”

Arnes Biogradlija
Creative Content Director at EnergyNews.Biz

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