Japan’s Fourth Strategic Energy Plan

By Stephen H. Crolius on September 19, 2016

The Cabinet of the Government of Japan adopted the country’s Fourth Strategic Energy Plan in April 2014. The Plan includes a Strategy for Hydrogen & Fuel Cells which is being executed by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI). The accompanying H2/FC Road Map includes an investigation of three materials that can carry the energy embodied in molecular hydrogen: liquid hydrogen, organic hydrides such as methylcyclohexane, and ammonia. The Cabinet Office for Energy Carriers is exploring the technical and economic ramifications of each material. Depending on its findings, the Office may recommend that one or more of the materials be advanced to “the practical implementation stage”.

Specific responsibility for the investigation of ammonia as an energy carrier is vested in the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST). Interim results for ammonia are positive. One specific technology being explored is the use of ammonia as a fuel for combustion turbines.