Energy - Let’s hear it for hydrogen!
Paul Finch, 20 May 2021
Just occasionally you come across a press release that cheers you up, writes Paul Finch.
"Toyota and ENEOS Announce Partnership to Make Woven City Carbon Neutral through Hydrogen Power"
Toyota and ENEOS Corporation have formed a new partnership to explore the use of hydrogen energy at Woven City, Toyota’s prototype city under development in Susono City, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan.
Toyota and ENEOS, together with Toyota subsidiary Woven Planet, intend to conduct testing and demonstration through a hydrogen-based supply chain, from production and delivery to hydrogen usage, in and around Woven City. Their aim is to help achieve a carbon-neutral society by 2050.
ENEOS is a leading company in the hydrogen business, operating 45 commercial hydrogen refuelling stations in Japan’s four major metropolitan areas. In anticipation of a hydrogen mass-consumption society, and to promote the overall low-carbon use of energy, ENEOS is also developing technologies that facilitate hydrogen production and is building a complete supply chain based on CO2-free hydrogen.
Positioning hydrogen as one of the most viable future clean energy sources, Toyota has invested in hydrogen and fuel cell technology, applying it in passenger cars, commercial vehicles and industrial vehicles, such as forklifts, trains, and ships, as well as in stationary generators.
Through this partnership, the companies are leveraging expertise and experience to explore hydrogen's potential in a bid to build a society in which people can enjoy a happy, healthy, and sustainable life. At Woven City, they intend to promote carbon neutrality in everyday mobility, and within the infrastructure of the city itself, as well as to raise awareness of hydrogen among resident families and visitors.
The new partnership will cover four areas:
1. ENEOS will establish and operate a hydrogen refuelling station close to Woven City.
2. ENEOS will produce ‘green hydrogen’, derived from renewable energy at the refuelling station and will supply Woven City using stationary fuel cell generators to be installed within the city by Toyota.
3. The use of hydrogen-powered fuel cell mobility for logistics will be promoted in and close to Woven City. A base unit of hydrogen demand will be validated for mobility logistics and a supply and demand management system will be built. (The base unit is a standard of measurement required to ensure a result that is both practically valuable to users and commercially viable.)
4. Joint advanced research on hydrogen supply will be conducted at the demonstration hub to be established within Woven City.
Katsuyuki Ota, president of ENEOS said: ‘We strongly support Toyota's bold vision for demonstrating technologies of the future through Woven City and are delighted to participate in the project. We believe that hydrogen energy will play an integral role in the realisation of carbon neutrality on a global scale and that Toyota is at the forefront of developing a fully hydrogen-based society. By working together with Toyota to fully explore hydrogen's potential, we believe we can make a significant contribution to the creation of new hydrogen-based lifestyles. I sincerely hope that by demonstrating Woven City's approach across the globe, we can accelerate our progress toward a new, more sustainable energy future.’
Akio Toyoda, President and CEO of Toyota Motor Corporation, said: ‘We are very pleased to have ENEOS as our core partner to validate the hydrogen society in Woven City. As Japan's leading integrated energy company, ENEOS has demonstrated its valuable expertise in all vital processes from hydrogen production to sales and we are confident they have the holistic perspective we require for success. To realise a hydrogen-based society, in addition to the evolution of individual technologies, it is essential to seamlessly integrate all the processes of production, delivery, and use. We will continue to work with ENEOS and the local community to develop the base unit of hydrogen throughout Japan and around the world. Our ‘Human-Centred approach’ to the real world of Woven City will help us fully explore the practical details of hydrogen-based lifestyles and technologies.’
Woven City is pioneering a profound evolution in how societies of the future will live, work, and play. Three fundamental concepts are critical to its development; ‘Human-Centred’ respect for individuals and prioritisation of their needs and preferences; ‘Living Laboratory’ which enables seamless real-world testing of new technologies such as hydrogen; and an ‘Ever-Evolving City’ in which such new technologies and services continuously grow and improve.
Together with ENEOS and many other like-minded companies, researchers, and inventors around the world, Toyota and Woven Planet are working to accelerate their efforts to build a city for happiness.
I found all this a refreshing reminder of the way in which ingenuity in tackling the massive problem of climate change is alive and well. It is not all about turning us into hermits.