(1) Ministry of Environment
@The ministry established before intermediate and long term road map committee under Central Environmental Council of the ministry for examining road maps, and on Nov. 25, 2010 the sub-committee published a draft completed on base of their discussion. In 2020 Japanese green house effect gas exhaustion should be reduced by 25 % compared with that in 1990, and similarly by 80 % in 2050. To do this intermediate and long term measures should be examined and necessary social and economical changes should be made. In automobiles for instance, over 90 % new cars should be next generation cars in 2050. Furthermore, in 2020 mileage of passenger cars should be by maximum 65 % improved compared with that in 2005. In our usual life, gas should be by annual rate of 1.5 - 2.5 % reduced. In industrial sector necessary reduction is annual 1 %. [The Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun (automobile) Nov. 26, 2010]
(2) Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
@The ministry has estimated necessary expense for reducing energy-originated CO2 exhaustion. For achievement of goal that 30 % reduction in 2030 comparing with 1990, 500 - 600 billion yen (6 - 7.5 billion US dollars) are necessary. In 2010 fiscal year tax income specific to oil and coal is 480 billion yen (budget base), and among them about 270 billion yen is allocated to measures for energy-originated CO2. By rough estimation, further 230 - 330 billion yen is needed. In home and business sectors main allocations are (1) development and introduction support of next generation illumination, (2) introduction support of FC and solar cells for homes and (3) demonstration of smart community. For industry and energy (1) introduction support of energy saving equipments and renewable thermal facilities and (2) Promotion of natural gas are the items. In innovative technology development CCS and high-efficiency thermal power plants are listed up together with other R & D of long term large scale green house effect gas. [The Denki Shimbun (electricity) Nov. 26, 2010]
(3) General Council for Science and Technology
@As to the fourth fundamental plan of 5 years begins from 2011 fiscal year, Basic Policy Special Investigation Committee of the General Council for Science and Technology completed a draft to invest 25 trillion yen (about 30 billion US Dollars) to two innovations, i.e., environment and energy plus medicine and care. In March of 2011 it would be decided in the cabinet. 25 trillion yen is equivalent to 1 % of GDP, and the same as that for the present third plan. Really spent money in the second plan was 21.1 trillion yen, while that for the present third plan is estimated to be 21.6 trillion yen. Although the financial situation is tight, it is thought that the allocated money is effectively used and the numerical goal is continuously shown. The Minister in Charge of Science and Technology Policies, Mr. Kaieda said "Science and technology are important as a base for economical development, so that they should be supported by full power." In environment and energy, batteries and FC for next generation vehicles and hydrogen supply systems are aimed at, beside innovative improvement in solar photo-generation and utilization of bio-mass. In the second and third plans, life science, information and communication, environment, nanotechnology and materials were 5 important fields, but because social needs of high priorities, namely exhaustion reduction of green house effect gas and situation of few children and more aged persons should be stressed, the two innovations were selected. [The Kensetsu Tsushin Shimbun (construction) Dec. 17, 2010]
2. Policies by Local Governments
(1) Toyota City
@In Toyota city of Aichi prefecture, FC buses were introduced and used in new route since October. The buses were developed by Toyota Motor Corp. and Hino Motor Co., Ltd., and they were used in Expo 2005 Aichi Japan. At the same time free trial drive of PHV by citizens was started. The City purchased 20 PHV from Toyota Motor Corp. by lease. The City uses 13 for their business and other 7 are rented to citizens and offices. Citizens can use it for 3 hours, and the office for 2 weeks. According to the City, the trial drive can be done by Dec. of 2011, when PHV sale is planned to start. The City constructed 11 charging stations in the city. Solar photo-power generation and batteries are used, so that they can be used independently on weather and time. They can run by renewable energy. In 2010 fiscal year 5 charging stations will be added. [The Denki Shimbun (electricity) Nov. 30, 2010]
(2) Fukuoka Prefecture
@Fukuoka Prefecture has carried out energy saving demonstration with LP gas specification home use FC in "hydrogen town" (Itojima city, Fukuoka prefecture). The Prefecture announced that CO2 exhaustion per one home was by 28.4 kg reduced in this beginning half of this fiscal year, compared with that by thermal power plants. For total 150 homes participating in the test, 51 tons are reduced annually. [The Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun (economy and industry) Dec. 1, 2010]
(3) Gifu Prefecture
@By using green business creation funds, Gifu Industrial Technology Promotion Center established subsidy for supporting model businesses named "Gifu Subsidy Supporting New Energy Introduction Model." The applications are solicited. The objectives are new construction or modification done in the prefecture for new energies, such as solar photo-generation, bio-mass thermal utilization and LED, while for energy saving FC, co-generation systems, etc. are the objectives. [The Nikkan Kensetsu Shimbun (construction) and The Kensetsu Tsushin Himbun (construction) Dec. 7, 2010]
(4) Aomori Prefecture and Aomori City
@The above two local governments announced on Dec. 14, 2010 outline of a demonstration "Low Carbon Model Town" which will be held in the central area of the city introducing new energy in houses and commercial facilities. Proposals are solicited. The site for the demonstration is "Blue Forest Central Park" (12.8 ha) owned by the two. Solar photo-generation, FC, bio-mass power generation etc. will be installed in house, commercial facilities, research facilities and parks are consist of the town. [The Nikkan Kensetsu Kogyo Shimbun (construction) Dec. 15, 2010]
(5) Hannan-machi, Shimane Prefecture
@On Dec. 16, 2010 Hannan-machi in Shimane prefecture established "Green Decentralization Research Center" at Agriculture Activation Center. In this year test of cold climate specification solar cells will be made, and the electric power will also be used for cultivation of mushroom. Since the next fiscal year active use of natural energy will be expanded over whole town. In this fiscal year a wood association will introduce two 1 kW scale solar panels; one is put laterally as usual and the other is put vertically. They are in mushroom cultivation facility with FC. Thus necessary power will be supplied. As to active use of wood bio-mass, activities to propagate wood stoves will be examined to increase wood demand for regeneration of forest which occupies over 90 % area of the town. Total budget is about 37 million yen. At the end of this fiscal year a report will be presented to the government. After the next fiscal year wood therapy tour by EV etc. are planned by a method well-fitted to cold mountainous area to reduce CO2 and to create jobs by improve competitiveness. [The San-in Chuo Shimbun Dec. 17, 2010]
3. Enefarm Business
(1) Tanaka Noble Metal Co., Ltd.
@On Nov. 30, 2010 the company announced on shipping amount of FC catalyst with its usages from 2004 fiscal year to the beginning half of 2010. The reference being 2004, maximum (169 %) occurred in 2006, when FCV development was active. Then the amount is decreasing gradually, but in 2009 fiscal year it turned to 162 %, reflecting introduction of home use FC. At present it is in increasing trend. At the end of the beginning half it is the same as the maximum. [The Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun (business and technology), The Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun (automobile), The Chemical Daily Dec. 1, 2010, The Dempa Shimbun (radio wave) Dec.2, 2010 and The Tekko Shimbun (steel) Dec. 3, 2010]
(2) Osaka Gas Co., Ltd.
@On Dec. 10, 2010 the company announced that the accumulated number of Enefarm sold from June of 2009 to Dec. 9, 2010 becomes over 3,000. At the beginning this number was the goal at the end of this fiscal year, but it was achieved 3 months earlier. The subsidy is effective, and introduction to newly built detached house is promoted. [The Mainichi Shimbun, The Sankei Shimbun Dec. 11, 2010, The Denki Shimbun (elecricity) , The Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun (business and technology) Dec. 14, 2010, The Dempa Shimbun (radio wave) Dec, 15, 2010 and The Chemical Daily Dec. 16, 2010]
(3) Kudo Kensetsu Co., Ltd.
@Since Jan. 22, 2011 the company sells detached houses with EV "LEAF" as one of standard equipment. Sale of houses with EV is the first trial. The price is estimated 60 million yen. It is in a new town in Yokohama, and 3 houses will be sold in January of 2011 and 10 houses in May of 2011. The site area is 172 - 247 m2. They are two storied houses and the total floor area is 113.4 m2. Beside EV, 4.4 kW solar generation system, Enefarm, LED and battery charging facility are installed as standards. CO2 emission is reduced by 70 - 80 % comparing with conventional ones. They said "expense for lightening and heating becomes zero and solar photo-generation can fill EV charging demand, though it depends on life style." The company was suggested combination of eco-friendly EV by Mr. Matsusawa, the governor of Kanagawa prefecture, and the company made it in cooperation with Nissan Motors Corp. Tokyo Gas Co., Ltd. and Yokohama Bank. [The Kanagawa Shimbun Dec. 18, 2010, The Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun (business and technology) The Nikkan Kensetsu Kogyo Shimbun (construction), and The Kensetsu Tsushin Shimbun Dec. 20, 2010]
(4) FC Propagation Promotion Association
@Accepted number of applications for subsidy to promote home use and business use FC introduction is 4099 sets. These applications were accepted by the above association and the number is that accumulated in 2010 fiscal year by the end of November. The items are town gas specification (3527 sets) and LP gas specification (572 sets). The FC installed buildings by this subsidy are newly built houses (69 %) and existing houses (31 %), while 96.4 % was detached houses beside apartment houses (0.7 %) and stores (1.1 %). Prefectures, whose applications are over 100, are Saitama (222sets), Chiba (183 sets), Tokyo (911 sets), Kanagawa (499 sets), Shizuoka (105 sets), Aichi (336 sets), Kyoto (104 sets), Osaka (311 sets), Hyogo (439 sets) and Fukuoka (157 sets). This subsidy institution was carried out continuously from 2009, and expense to introduce Enefarm is given to those hoping introduction of FC and/or providing it by lease. The above data are numbers of accepted applications from April 23 to the end of November, and they differ from really installed sets numbers. [The Dempa Shimbun (radio wave) Dec. 17, 2010]
4. Forefront of FCV and EV
(1) Toyota Motor Corp.
@The company has a concept to classify next generation cars; EV for short range, HV and PHV for general use, and FCV for intermediate and long range use. According to action plan by 2012 published on Nov. 18, 2010, 11 HV models will be injected to passenger cars, and for compact class HV model specific hybrid cars will be injected. The goal of mileage will be 40 km/L in 10-15 mode. EV running test will start in November, and it would be injected into markets of Europe, US and Japan. PHV would be sold in 2012 in global scale of annual 50,000 cars at price of 3 million yen without government subsidy. For FCV some tasks, such as cost, down sizing, weight reduction etc., are still unsolved, so that development of technology and commercialization should be carried out. In Japan sedan type FCV will be sold since 2015 in four urban areas. [The Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun Nov. 25, 2010]
@In a research report published recently it is reported that FCV will be on autonomous growth trend after 2030 in Europe. The report was completed in collaboration of firms exploited in European market with NGO and government. The former firms contain automobiles, oil refineries, industrial gas companies etc. Share of FCV in Europe in 2050 is anticipated 25 %, and it is confirmed that FCV could play important role in global warming gas 95 % reduction (goal) in transportation sector. Construction of hydrogen supply infrastructure is a task, but its expense per one car is estimated less than 5 %, and it is not so large barrier. [The Chemical Daily Nov. 26, 2010]
@China is planning propagation of 30,000 new energy cars in Beijing by 2012. Chinese authority fixed new energy cars as a main pillar of its new industries, and Beijing being its model case, and they are plotting penetration of new energy cars into market, for instance by subsidy institution. The Minister of Science and Technology said in the beginning of November "Chinese EV industry promoted from development step to industrialization step. Further 10 years we will master its core technologies and make up production system of competitive cars." New energy cars China is promoting are HV, EV, FCV, hydrogen engine cars and gas automobiles. [The Fuji Sankei Business Eye Dec. 3, 2010]
(4) Hydrogen Supply and Utilization Technology Association
@On Dec. 7, 2010 the above association (HySUT) published full dress hydrogen high way project. It is carried out as a one item in construction and demonstration of hydrogen utilization system. Since Dec. 16, 2010 FC bus is going to regularly run one round trip everyday on two routes; from Haneda Airport to Shinjuku Station West Exit and to Tokyo City Air Terminal. The model bus selected is FCHV-BUS developed by cooperation of Toyota Motor Corp. and Hino Motor Co., Ltd. Furthermore, hired car service will start among Tokyo Downtown, Haneda Airport and Narita Airport, and FCV by Toyota Motor Corp., Honda Motor Corp. and Nissan Motors Co., Ltd. will be used. First a hydrogen station will be open at Haneda Airport and Suginami ward of Tokyo Dec. 15, 2010, and in the beginning of new year one more station will be open at Narita Airport. This project is going to be done by March of 2011, and social acceptance will be confirmed for further propagation. [The Asahi Shimbun, The Nihon Keizai Shimbun, The Denki Shimbun (electricity), The Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun (economy and industry), The Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun (business and Technology), The Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun (automobile), The Chemical Daily Dec. 8, 2010, The Yomiuri Shimbun, TheMainichi Shimbun and Kensetsu Tsushin Shimbun (construction) Dec. 14, 2010]
@On Dec. 16, 2010 US Department of Energy set forth that it will financially support by184 million US Dollars (about 15 billion yen) to R and D of next generation cars. It made a point of R and D of PHV, EV etc., and 8 points, such as light materials and FC designing are also focused. [The Nihon Keizai Shimbun Dec. 18, 2010]
5. Hydrogen Station Business
@On Dec. 15, 2010, Tokyo Gas Co., Ltd. and HySUT held opening ceremony of Haneda Hydrogen Station at Keihinjima, Tokyo. This is so-called in-site type where hydrogen is produced in the station. For about 1 hour hydrogen 50 m3 can be made from the material town gas supplied from underground pipes. The byproduct of CO2 10 kg is absorbed in liquid and used as material for industry. Gas evolved from hydrogen purification process is used fuel necessary for hydrogen production. Town gas of 19 m3 is equivalent to monthly consumption of general home, and hydrogen 50m3 is about 1.5 cars of FCV (passenger car), because for a general passenger car the full charge is hydrogen 30 m3 and the mileage is about 370 km. A hydrogen station can be constructed in 500 m2 site area. In the case of Haneda Hydrogen Station, the total area is 950 m2 (450 m2 is rented by Ota Waste Treatment Center, and 4 natural gas stands are in the center.), so that this hydrogen gas station with annex of natural gas stands is possible as the first one in Japan. In the ceremony Mr. Yoshida, the Governor of HySUT said "This facility is made by assumption of users' utilization, and hydrogen business is now entering into the new stage." [The Yomiuri Shimbun, The Asahi Shimbun, The Mainichi Shimbun, The Sankei Shimbun, The Denki Shimbun (electricity), The Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun (economy and industry), The Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun (business and technology), The Nikkan Kensetsu Kogyo Shimbun (construction) and The Chemical Daily Dec. 16, 2010]
6. Technology Development of Hydrogen Storage
@A research group consisting of Prof. Kitagawa of Kyoto University and co-workers in Kyushu University developed hydrogen storage alloy of nano-size. By grinding rhodium and silver finely to atomic level, an alloy is made, which can store half amount of hydrogen compared with palladium. Rhodium atom contains by one proton and one electron less than palladium atom, while silver atom consists by one proton and one electron more than palladium. Prof. Kitagawa predicted that if we could mix rhodium and silver one to one, substance of similar properties of palladium would be formed. Then rhodium, silver and polymer are put in a flask and mixed. Nano-particles of 10 nano m, rhodium and silver bond structure are formed. When rhodium and silver is mixed one to one, hydrogen is stored at best efficiency. It was known that rhodium and silver do not mix each other like "water and oil." Rhodium is more expensive than palladium, so that use of rhodium as substitute is not effective for cost. The research group is looking for inexpensive metal, aiming at hydrogen storage materials of low cost. [The Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun (business and technology) Nov. 23, 2010]
7. Development of MFC
@Prof. Hashimoto of Tokyo University and Dr. Kato, a research staff of Japan Science and Technology Agency found a method to propagate electron emitting bacteria, which emits electrons in decomposition process of sugar, acetic acid etc.. Mud in water field, in which various bacteria are co-existing, was gathered and cultivating it together with iron oxides in liquid, thus much electric current flows. The electron emitting bacteria take iron oxides and use it to make more favorable environment than others. Thus realization of FC using bacteria is expected (MFC). The bacteria gets energy necessary to propagate itself by emitting electrons. By recovering electrons and taking out electric current, bacteria FC is made, and it is studied in the world. In a cylindrical container of 3 cm in diameter and 2 cm in height with electrode on the bottom, liquid containing acetic acid is poured, and putting mud from water field, several micro-A can be obtained. When iron oxides are added, current of 220 micro A is observed. Bacteria containing layer of several tens micro-m is analyzed, and Geobacter is found, which is 20 -40 % of bacteria occurring in mud. It is larger than that without iron oxides by about 5 %. [The Nikan Kogy Shimbun (business and technology) Dec. 1 and 2, 2010]
8. New Energy General system
@Tsukuba University and others constructed a facility in which alga is cultivated, and it is integrated with solar photo-generation, wind mill generation and FC to search for optimum combination. The experimental facilities are constructed in the university. National Research Institute for Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, National Research Institute for Materials Science, National Institute of Environmental Science and others will cooperate. Oil production from alga will be investigated, and hydrogen formation from the residue will also be studied. Electric power generated by solar cells will be used for night illumination of alga with LED. System without conversion of DC to AC will also be studied. [The Nihon Keizai Shimbun Oct. 29, 2010]
------------ This edition is made up as of December 20, 2010. ---------------
A POSTER COLUMN
World Average of Green House Gas Goes up to The Maximum
@World Metrological Organization (WHO) announced that world average green house effect gas, containing CO2 etc. causing global warming, is recorded the maximum in 2009. Among the gas methane is highly effective in the warming effect, and its concentration increases for 3 years at a high rate, but they said "The causes are not clear, so that further forecast is not done."
@Using observatories, ships, and aircrafts, atmospheric concentrations of green house effect gases have been observed and averaged them. According to the annual report, CO2 concentration in 2009 was 386.8 ppm and it increased by 1.6 ppm from that of the previous year. Methane is 1803 ppb with 5 ppb increase, while N2O is 322.5 ppb with increase of 0.6 ppb. Comparing those data with those before industrial revolution, the present atmospheric concentration of CO2, methane and N2O are respectively 38 %, 158 % and 19 % increase.
@The cause of methane increase is not known, but it can be thought that unusually high temperature in North Pole area in 2007 melted eternally frozen land to evolve large amount of methane. Much rain in tropical zone in 2007 - 8 increased quagmire area, and it causes methane gas. [The Nihon Keizai Shimbun Nov. 25, 2010]
@On Dec. 2 WMO announced on possibility that the global temperature would be the highest. It would be almost certain that it would be 0.44 - 0.66 higher than the average temperature from 1961 to 1990, and it is sure that it would be in the top three. The ten year average from 2001 to 2010 would be surely the highest. They appealed crisis due to the warming.
@It is going to publish the data are those from February to October and the final report will be published in March of 2011. [The Nihon Keizai Shimbun Dec. 13, 2010]
In 2015 100 hydrogen stations would be constructed
@Aiming at the FCV commercialization in 2015, demand for construction of hydrogen station is increasing.
@The Agency of Natural resources and Energy, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry announced on Dec. 13, 2010 that scheduled service on high ways from Tokyo central part to Haneda or Narita airport is going to start using FC buses (FCB) since Dec. 16, 2010. In this program it is said the number of hydrogen stations should be increased. Thus, it was discussed that about 100 stations at minimum would be needed by 2015.
@For the scheduled FCB service Hydrogen Supply and Utilization Technology Association (HySUT) in charge of demonstration will construct three stations, at Suginami ward, Tokyo, Haneda, Narita. Among them hydrogen stations at Suginami, Haneda are begun to start on Dec. 15, 2010 and at Narita in February of 2011.
@Hydrogen station construction needs 500 - 600 million yen in general but expense for land sites. According to the Agency of Natural Resources and Energy deregulation and cost down are needed hereafter not to increase expense for the hydrogen stations.
@For this point 17 items of deregulation are being examined in the Council for Administration Reformation. If these points are made real, the cost becomes 200 - 300 million yen, but in overseas it can be done for 100 - 200 million yen. Therefore, some technology developments are also necessary. The Agency of Natural Resources and Energy shows business model of hydrogen society by demonstration, and the agency begins to approach to promote construction of hydrogen station and cost reduction.
@In the Suginami station, which HySUT constructed, was done by JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corp., Haneda by Tokyo Gas Co., Ltd. and Narita by Idemitsu Kosan Corp. HySUT was established in July of 2009, and 13 companies joined; JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corp., Idemitsu Kosan Corp., Iwatani Corp., Osaka Gas Co., Ltd., Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Cosumo Oil Co., Ltd., Saibu Gas Co., Ltd., Showa Shell Sangyo K. K., Taiyo Nissan Sannso Corp., Tokyo Gas Co., Ltd., Toho Gas Co., Ltd., Nippon Air Liquid, and Mitsubishi Kakoki Kaisha, Ltd. Kitakyushu City constructed hydrogen pipe lines and is making social demonstration to supply hydrogen to general homes. [The Kensetsu Tsushin Shimbun Dec. 14, 2010]