Panasonic Corporation plans to demonstrate a “RE100 solution” that uses an in-house power generation system that combines pure hydrogen fuel cell generators and photovoltaic generators to supply 100 percent of the electricity consumed in business activities from renewable sources.
This is the world’s first1 attempt to build a “RE100 factory” using hydrogen on a large scale.
The concept that three ESG perspectives (environmental, social, and governance) are necessary for long-term corporate growth is gaining traction around the world. In light of this, an increasing number of businesses are joining the RE100 (Renewable Energy 100%) initiative3, which aims to ensure that all electricity consumed in business activities is generated from renewable sources such as solar, wind, geothermal, and hydraulic power, as well as biomass.
In-house power generation and external procurement are the two main methods of obtaining renewable electricity. There are also a variety of external procurement options, such as direct contracts with business operators who own renewable energy power-supply systems and the use of energy attribute certificates. Companies will pick one of these options to ensure that all of their energy comes from renewable sources. Energy attribute certificates, on the other hand, come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and their supply and price are determined by market conditions. Furthermore, photovoltaic power generation systems, which have become increasingly popular as a means of generating power in-house, face some challenges in achieving RE100 for businesses. They require a large installation area to supply all of the electricity needed for business operations, and their power generation is insecure due to their weather sensitivity.
Panasonic proposes a solution that combines pure hydrogen fuel cell generators, photovoltaic generators, and storage batteries to address these issues. Panasonic will construct a large facility at its Kusatsu site in Shiga Prefecture to demonstrate this solution, which will include an in-house power generation system that includes pure hydrogen fuel cell generators (500 kW) and photovoltaic generators (approximately 570 kW), as well as lithium-ion storage batteries (approximately 1.1 MWh) for storing surplus power. This system generates enough electricity to power the entire Kusatsu site’s fuel cell factory’s manufacturing departments. Parallel to this, Panasonic will develop and test technologies for optimal power supply and demand management using integrated control of power generators and storage batteries.
The above combination will aid in the solution of the photovoltaic power generation problem, which necessitates a large installation area and is vulnerable to weather conditions, resulting in unstable power generation. Furthermore, this will make it possible to build an in-house power generation system in a small space, such as on the roof of a factory, to provide efficient and stable electricity for business operations. Furthermore, the use of lithium storage batteries allows for adequate energy management in response to power demand as well as efficient use of surplus power generated on days when the factory is closed. Panasonic will gain knowledge and experience in energy management, including the operation of pure hydrogen fuel cell generators, as part of this demonstration, with the goal of commercializing the RE100 solution, which uses power generated in-house from renewable sources to supply 100 percent of the electricity required for business operations.