That tailwind Toyota may be feeling in Japan won't be from a stiff breeze off the northern Pacific Ocean. The Japanese automaker is getting ready to start selling its first production hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle in its native country next year. And the government is ponying up real big in incentives, Reuters says.

The Japanese government will provide incentives worth about $20,000 per fuel-cell vehicle, Reuters reports, citing Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. That sort of government money will bring Toyota's first hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle to the customer at under $50,000. Just so we're clear, Japan's incentives for battery-electric vehicles top out at about $8,500. That sound you hear is a bunch of Nissan executives tearing their hair out.

Last month, Toyota said the price for the fuel-cell sedan would be about $69,000 in Japan, and while the company hasn't priced it for US consumption, the word's out that the car may be in the $50,000 range stateside. The fuel-cell sedan, which has a full-tank range of about 300 miles, goes on sale in Japan next April and will start sales in Europe and the US next summer. Honda is also debuting its first production fuel-cell vehicle next year, so Toyota's got company among automakers who are probably all raising a glass and saying "kampai" to the Japanese government right about now.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 78 Comments
      Dave D
      • 5 Months Ago
      I'm waiting to hear the total shock and outrage by all the people who hate any subsidies of EVs. They better be out in force...or they can go ahead and disclose their funding by whichever oil/gas company they work for. :)
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Dave D
        I'm all for subsidizing all clean energy vehicle tech, be it BEVs or FCEVs. They both need a good funding boost to get off the ground running and become mainstream.
        Dave
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Dave D
        I'm against these massive subsidies for both BEVs and FCEVs and for the supporting infrastructure. But, of course, this is not my government - its up to the people of Japan to decide what they want their tax money to go to..
          Letstakeawalk
          • 5 Months Ago
          @Dave
          I disagree that the subsidies are "massive". In my own home town, we're spending $140 million on a single concert hall - 2x as much as the Japanese government is going to spend on the hydrogen refueling network. Similarly, the US government is currently considering whether or not to spend $3.7 billion on emergency action along the US/Mexico Border - an amount that will be spent in months and dwarfs the US investment in either BEVs or FCVs.
          Grendal
          • 5 Months Ago
          @Dave
          correction *a hypocrite*
          Grendal
          • 5 Months Ago
          @Dave
          I would be hypocritical if I didn't agree with you on this one, LTAW. You're right, it really isn't that much to support what will possibly be a future source of income for the country. It's similar to the money given to A123 and other companies to promote battery research.
      miles
      • 5 Months Ago
      Why does the Japanese govt need to subsidize Toyota's R&D? Isn't Toy going to make like a billion-zillion dollars this year?
        Grendal
        • 5 Months Ago
        @miles
        That's what most governments do.
        rl
        • 5 Months Ago
        @miles
        now our gov, if they try to do something to promote or nurture a new industry or tech they in this case get demonized by the moronic republicans because it was obamas idea and of course it's a huge waste of money. now they're totally comfortable burning up trillions of tons of fossil fuels and giving the oil companies billions. just stupid. now in 15yrs we will ask, how did the japanese own another industry, fuel cells, because their gov INVESTED in it and helped their companies monetize it into a product that could sell at a mass market price.
          EVSUPERHERO
          • 5 Months Ago
          @rl
          Using your line of reasoning. Why didn't Japan hurry and invest in the Better Place Project before those Israelis owned that industry? Investing in hydrogen is investing in oil corps because it will be made from NG in the US. Hydrogen proponents will mention renewable s but they know where hydrogen will come from, the fossil fuel industry.
      Grendal
      • 5 Months Ago
      Nothing surprising about that.
      Electron
      • 5 Months Ago
      $50K for a Corolla competitor...still not a great deal. That may be what Toyota is counting on though because even at $69K they may be loosing a lot of money on every sale. This technology really has a long way to go and may very well never get there.
      Letstakeawalk
      • 5 Months Ago
      That's quite generous of the Japanese government. They're also planning to subsidize building infrastructure and R&D to get production costs down. " Japan plans to spend more on initiatives for fuel-cell cars that run on hydrogen and emit only water. The government said Tuesday it will earmark ¥7.2 billion ($69 million) to subsidize the building of hydrogen fueling stations in the next fiscal year starting April. It also will invest ¥6.4 billion in research to help lower fuel-cell production costs." http://blogs.wsj.com/japanrealtime/2013/12/26/aiming-to-repeat-hybrid-success-japan-funds-fuel-cell-stations/
        Spec
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Letstakeawalk
        Generous is one word you can use. Crazy, over-optimistic, socialism, nationalism, and blind-faith are other terms that might also apply.
        DaveMart
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Letstakeawalk
        Here in the UK subsidies are planned to be fairly even between hydrogen and battery car infrastructure, although to date of course spending has been overwhelmingly on battery infrastructure subsidy. Likewise although the rate per car is higher out to around 2020 total subsidies on battery cars in Japan will massively exceed those on fuel cell cars.
        Letstakeawalk
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Letstakeawalk
        You're correct. Even though the subsidy per BEV is lower, because of the greater number of BEVs sold, the overall subsidy for BEVs is higher than the overall subsidy for FCVs.
          Spec
          • 5 Months Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          Uh OK . . . so you are saying that even with this massive subsidy, it will still flop? Not a good sign.
          DaveMart
          • 5 Months Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          Nope. Simply that it is early days. However costs for fuel cells are dropping faster than those for batteries ever did, so one can be hopeful that the total subsidies will remain way below that which battery cars have eaten up.
      johnc
      • 5 Months Ago
      I am a great supporter of the FCV, but that price has got to come down - way down!
        DaveMart
        • 5 Months Ago
        @johnc
        Its dropped by about 95% over the last few years, and the cost curve has not stopped dropping yet. Regardless of what some bloggers think, Toyota, Hyundai, GM and Mercedes are not morons, and are developing the technology because they are confident that they can get the costs down to comparability with petrol, with affordable infrastructure and a fuel which will be both affordable and use a high proportion of renewables. Now maybe batteries will do even better, and all the companies are developing them too, but fuel cells are a way better option than internal combustion engines and petrol so it is silly not to develop them also.
          EVnerdGene
          • 5 Months Ago
          @DaveMart
          oh come now, Maynard (Davemart) "Its dropped by about 95% over the last few years, and the cost curve has not stopped dropping yet." source ? You can't compare prototype cost with production vehicles. If so, the first Tesla cost $20,000,000.
          EVSUPERHERO
          • 5 Months Ago
          @DaveMart
          I swear David Martin, the biggest reason these OEM's are bringing out hydrogen vehicles now is because EV's are catching on. As far as a affordable fuel infrastructure the auto corps never did dictate, where the fuel came from, weather the fuel was inexpensive, or made form renewable s. How the auto corps feel about the fuel part of this equation is immaterial. They need hydrogen for their FCV, how and where it comes from, they will not control, but the fossil fuel corps will. Let's not confuse these conventional auto corps with a contemporary auto corp such as Tesla. Tesla is well on their way to building fuel station networks for many nations, nation wide, before them no automobile corp built their own fuel stations that I know of. I don't consider two or three token fuel points, " a network of fuel stations".
          Grendal
          • 5 Months Ago
          @DaveMart
          DaveMart. What type of nuclear are you for? I'm not trying to trip you up either, I am truly curious. On this subject: There is a Fusion study being done in my city that was started by Bussard. He is famous for envisioning the Bussard Ramjet for interstellar travel.
          Grendal
          • 5 Months Ago
          @DaveMart
          Everything I've read seems to indicate that Thorium reactors are the way to go. I'm just surprised no one has made one yet. Is there something preventing it that I am not aware of? Thanks for the info.
          EVSUPERHERO
          • 5 Months Ago
          @DaveMart
          But David, if the 250 million cars in America were electric their would be storage. Tesla plans on covering all their charge stations with solar panels. Eventually I think they will put used Tesla packs in these locations. Still they will most likely be tied to the grid. I am not sure I agree that hydrogen is worth all the extra energy it will consume. Grendal, i am pretty sure I have heard David mention thorium reactors over the years. Every thing I have read about them they sound pretty good. They are self regulating and the waste has a half life of conventional reactors. Even at half life that is a long time. The French have been working on burning reactor waste that does not emit toxins. I read a long time ago where the French were forced to release some toxins into the English channel in emergency. The current was strong in that area so the toxins where swept away quickly. You can't make a omelette without breaking some eggs.
          PeterScott
          • 5 Months Ago
          @DaveMart
          "equivalent to lifting all the energy in the Great Lakes way, way up in the air and using the energy when it came down, just don't work." That is just silly disparagement of Pumped Water storage for load levelling. One the most practical/efficient/safe load leveling solutions that exist, with ~100 Gigawatts of capacity already in use. There is near ZERO capacity of hydrogen used for load leveling. There are reasons for that. It isn't nearly as efficient/safe/practical as pumped water storage.
          Joeviocoe
          • 5 Months Ago
          @DaveMart
          Foolproof Formula for bringing the cost of anything down by 95%. Make the first dozen units by hand, and include all the R&D costs into the price... call it $1 million price tag... and when you offer it for $100k later... DaveMart can call it a huge bargain.
          DaveMart
          • 5 Months Ago
          @DaveMart
          S/be 'water in the Great Lakes'
          DaveMart
          • 5 Months Ago
          @DaveMart
          Tell me exactly how, with the numbers, that a grid which has loads of renewables can run without the massive storage enabled by hydrogen and I will be all ears. Otherwise it is simply not comparing like things, and ignoring the fact that it ain't available when you need it. Not a problem for me, as I advocate nuclear, and BEV cars work fine with that, as the storage issues are orders of magnitude smaller. The numbers for a lot of renewables outside of the tropics without huge amounts of storage, and I mean huge, equivalent to lifting all the energy in the Great Lakes way, way up in the air and using the energy when it came down, just don't work. That is why all the countries and regions serious about a lot of solar and renewables, and I mean all of them, are heavily into hydrogen.
          Greg
          • 5 Months Ago
          @DaveMart
          Car companies are not morons--they know how much money & credits govts will give them for making hydrogen cars. I don't blame them for grabbing that money while they can.
      MikeThinker
      • 5 Months Ago
      If it will never cost less then a Chevy Volt, it's a dead end technology. And in an age of global warming, the last think you want to do is create more demand for methane. The SouthWest US is already burning up, under severe drought conditions. When will policy be changed to address this, when the whole of the US is under drought?
        kinasi
        • 5 Months Ago
        @MikeThinker
        if you think hydrogen is a dea technology you must be jobless, every other company uses hydrogen to fuel their hydraulic lifts, forklifts and back up power get out more
          Spec
          • 5 Months Ago
          @kinasi
          Hydrogen definitely has some good purpose in niche applications. Forklifts operate indoors so they really need to get rid of polluting emissions. But that is not evidence that they will work well for light duty automobiles.
          Greg
          • 5 Months Ago
          @kinasi
          We use natural gas for our forklifts. DaveMart, a little bit about proofs: Proofs are not fair nor equal to both sides, and that's exactly how it should to be. For example, if you propose a math theorem, you can show many examples of it working, and that is not proof of the theorem being correct, but one example of it not working *is* proof that the theorem is wrong. It's the same in science. Einstein's theory of gravity has had to pass many tests to keep being considered plausible (not proven as correct), but if it had failed any of those tests, it would be wrong and dropped from the textbooks. In fact, since it doesn't work in the realm of quantum mechanics, physicists flatly admit that it's wrong, but we don't have anything better to work with.
          Spec
          • 5 Months Ago
          @kinasi
          A niche application with special demands can pay more for esoteric technology that meets the requirements. But without such special demands (such as operating in an indoor environment), people are not going to opt for a more expensive technology unless it provides other compelling reasons.
          DaveMart
          • 5 Months Ago
          @kinasi
          So if it works it is not evidence, but it it didn't it would be? If you said it is not conclusive evidence then that is clearly correct, but your seeking to utterly dismiss the alleged problems which critics have made so much of satisfactorily supplying, compressing and using on board hydrogen, all things which were claimed to be near impossible, as not evidential is clear evidence of bias.
        goodoldgorr
        • 5 Months Ago
        @MikeThinker
        It's possible to make hydrogen with water in small machineries at gas station. This machinery can be power by solar panels or windmills. Im not sure if they will make hydrogen with methane but I prefer the water electrolysis method with solar or wind electricity. If you have questions about this, I will try to answer.
          Greg
          • 5 Months Ago
          @goodoldgorr
          On the issue of cost, running a car on electricity via batteries is about one-third the cost of gasoline. The batteries have a large up-front cost, but over the lifespan of the car (e.g., 150k mi), the fuel savings make up for that cost. (It is also thought that total car maintenance costs are less for electrics than ICEs, but I'm willing to wait for real data on that.) So, in the end, BEVs are actually cost competitive with ICEs, but they aren't taking off. Clearly, there are other factors, such as change of habits, being able to do math for the long-term instead of monthly costs for today.
          kinasi
          • 5 Months Ago
          @goodoldgorr
          there are over 300 ways to make hydrogen power, this guy is a toolbox
          Joeviocoe
          • 5 Months Ago
          @goodoldgorr
          Biodiesel can be produced in various ways... so can Ethanol. And what happened? Unless it can be produced CHEAPER, it won't be produced in those ways at all.
          Spec
          • 5 Months Ago
          @goodoldgorr
          Yes, you CAN make hydrogen in various ways . . . so? We still have relatively cheap gasoline and it is really easy for us to build internal combustion engines.
          Neil Blanchard
          • 5 Months Ago
          @goodoldgorr
          Electrolysis is much less efficient than just using that electricity to charge batteries. And, you also have to have a source of water, which is not available (easily) everywhere. And the hydrogen has to be compressed - up to 10,000PSI, which is also non-trivial. I think that this is much easier to say, than it is to do.
      kinasi
      • 5 Months Ago
      Tesla are dumbasses for 2 specific reasons: -no low priced city EV, their first cheaper EV is in 2017, meanwhile almost all major brands either already have a small EV or have one scheduled before 2017 -Elon Musk has a massive misunderstabing about hydrogen fuel, when he said "Hydrogen fuel is bullshit", someone should have whispered in his ear that thousands of forklifts and back up energy sources of thousands of companies rely on hydrogen 24/7
        Spec
        • 5 Months Ago
        @kinasi
        Really? 1) No one is making money on their small city EVs except maybe Nissan. They are largely for compliance purposes. 2) Absolutely no one is making money on FCVs.
          DaveMart
          • 5 Months Ago
          @Spec
          Perhaps because it is a brand new technology which they have only just started making in tiny numbers? You can't seriously present that as a critique, and even to offer it is just sad.
        electric-car-insider
        • 5 Months Ago
        @kinasi
        Actually Musk said "Fuel Cell is so bullsh**". That "s" is important because it really emphasizes the extent of that negative evaluation. Those details are important to physicists like Elon. Maybe he's also annoyed because as an economist, he can also perform financial sums and when he does the math, the numbers just don't add up. Of course, if the Japanese government is going to put their thumb on the scales in the amount of $20k per vehicle, that could make the columns foot. Except for the consumer who has to pay 4-8x the cost of electricity at the H2 pump.
          DaveMart
          • 5 Months Ago
          @electric-car-insider
          Perhaps the 500 engineers Toyota have working on fuel cells some of whom were the ones who brought us the Prius, can also add up. It is a pity people mistake a slogan for an analysis, and a slogan from someone who coincidentally has a battery car for sale. Enormously more money has been spent on subsidies for battery cars, so moaning on when something which you don't happen to agree with whilst enthusiastically supporting subsidies for electric cars without which the industry would not have come into existence is nonsense.
          Electron
          • 5 Months Ago
          @electric-car-insider
          I'm sure all the Toyota engineers that still expect to have a job tomorrow share your optimism about hydrogen. When were plug-ins ever subsidized to the tune of $20K (or even "enormously more" than that) in Japan BTW?
          DaveMart
          • 5 Months Ago
          @electric-car-insider
          So your 'analysis' simply ignores the total sums involved? Sheesh.
      Spec
      • 5 Months Ago
      $20K? That's crazy. You can almost buy two ICE cars for that much. For another $2K or so, you could buy the Mitsubishi-i. Japan has really lost the magic. I think they are going down a rabbit hole with this.
      • 5 Months Ago
      Hyundai "Tuscon" Fuel Cell Vehicle $499 per month w/ Free Fuel & Free Maintenance from Hyundai!!! (pure water for exhaust) https://www.hyundaiusa.com/tucsonfuelcell/ Toyota joins California Hydrogen Push in Station Funding - Bloomberg http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-05-01/california-awards-46-6-million-for-hydrogen-car-stations.html
      purrpullberra
      • 5 Months Ago
      The bang for the buck proposition will always doom hydrogen fuel cells. Add up research, manufacturing and resource management gasoline loses and so does hydrogen. It should remain an interesting niche. So it is impossible to justify this tax break. I know Japan is desperate to get/stay off oil but there is too much waste in making hydrogen. Just go with batteries. They are getting better and better and Japan is a small place, range issues, especially if spaced out like Tesla superchargers, could easily serve the populous. The cost to build all the hydrogen refueling stations alone makes the idea ridiculous. Using hydrogen for common fueling is incredibly wasteful due to the amount of electricity required to make and store hydrogen. Just use that electricity directly, put it into a motor or battery. The electric grid already exists and it deserves the money for upkeep/upgrades more than a few people (and executives) who want brand new, expensive, unnecessary hydrogen fueling stations.
        goodoldgorr
        • 5 Months Ago
        @purrpullberra
        The problem is that batteries are already there and it's not catching up so they want to offer another alternative than batteries. If consumer will like hydrogen then the problem will disappear over time. There is way to make hydrogen economically, the us dept of energy have a goal of selling it for 4$ a gallon equivalent.
          Greg
          • 5 Months Ago
          @goodoldgorr
          I disagree. Car companies are not coming out with fuel cells because they want to try something different, they are doing it because of govt incentives and mandates. Fuel cells net far more credits in CA, which are essential to doing business there. Japan is now throwing stupid amounts of money at it. The car companies would be foolish not to take that money, even if it's a dead-end technology. Can we make hydrogen efficiently from natural gas? Sure. Do we want to? I don't know why. Can we make it efficiently from hydrolysis? Not without repealing a few laws of physics. Can we simply use hydrogen that would have gone to waste (such a decomposing biomass)? Sure, but there isn't enough of that to feed the transportation industry, so it would work for niches, but not as a mainstream option.
          goodoldgorr
          • 5 Months Ago
          @goodoldgorr
          chris m have disappeared and he was the one that opposed hydrogen the most
      PeterScott
      • 5 Months Ago
      Is this just Japan supporting their auto industry, or is there a real plan to get the country using FCVs? If the latter. Where will Japan get Hydrogen? Unlike the USA where frakking has produced an abundance of Natural Gas, Japan has essentially ZERO NG resources, and are the worlds largest importer of LNG. So pay high price for LNG, convert to hydrogen and subsidize the fuel, the infrastructure, and the cars? To what end? Driving up imports of LNG while you wait for the H2 Fairy to give you magical low cost source of H2?
        DaveMart
        • 5 Months Ago
        @PeterScott
        http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/energy/oilandgas/10646210/Japan-methane-hydrate.html In my view successful exploitation of this resource is likely on the same kind of time scale as establishing a fuel cell industry. Whether that is desirable is another question. To be clear my own preference is for a massive build out of nuclear, which fits in far better with BEVVs although reactors such as the Chinese PBR can produce hydrogen with good economy. However since I don't rule the world I prefer to try to assess each technology on its merits and not solely in terms of some grand overarching plan. I find it extraordinary that some here seem to assume that they are the first person in the world to whom questions such as where the hydrogen is to come from have occurred, and that the likes of Toyota and Hyundai are completely innumerate fools who would never have thought of that. I should also point out that methane hydrates as a source are far from the only one that is being looked at, with German like off-shore wind to solar and numerous other options including direct solar to hydrogen making rapid progress.
          PeterScott
          • 5 Months Ago
          @DaveMart
          No Dave. It was a perfectly reasonable question. Where does a nation that is so energy strapped, that they are in permanent energy austerity mode, get their hydrogen. You haven't given any real answers. Just a bunch of assumptions about what they could do. Ranging from untested Methane Hydrate (that is potentially worse than other fossil fuels) to Nuclear reactors which they won't use, to renewable electrolysis with is uneconomic. Pointless boondoggle going on here.
          PeterScott
          • 5 Months Ago
          @DaveMart
          Maybe they will be powerd by Solar panels on the Moon as well: http://news.nationalpost.com/2013/11/29/japans-crack-plan-to-solve-the-worlds-energy-problems-turn-the-moon-into-a-giant-solar-panel/ ;)
          PeterScott
          • 5 Months Ago
          @DaveMart
          This isn't a quesiton about what other countries are doing. It is about what Japan is going to do. So German wind farms/Chinese reactors don't apply. Offshore mining of methane hydrates is fantasy at the moment, not to mention its very problematic GHG potential.
          Spec
          • 5 Months Ago
          @DaveMart
          You set yourself up for that one.
          DaveMart
          • 5 Months Ago
          @DaveMart
          But then you were not really interested in where Japan intended to get its hydrogen from. Starting from the perfectly ludicrous premise that getting a supply of hydrogen had never crossed their minds and that you were the first one to ask where it was going to come from you were just going to find a rationale to dismiss anything put forward. That is how closed minds work. It is not conducive to thought, and in fact makes it impossible.
          EVSUPERHERO
          • 5 Months Ago
          @DaveMart
          "I find it extraordinary that some here seem to assume that they are the first person in the world to whom questions such as where the hydrogen is to come from have occurred, and that the likes of Toyota and Hyundai are completely innumerate fools who would never have thought of that." We can assume Toyota are total buffoons, sure. OR, We can assume Toyota thinks that having the government fund hydrogen products and research is the best thing to maintain the status quo, "ie" selling hybrids and ICE for as long as possible. You must admit it has worked wonderfully since the 1960's. We can assume it is as Marcopolo points out. Hydrogen will be shoved down the public's throat no matter how costly, inefficient, and environmentally unsound because you just can't stop the big oil Goliath when it wants more profits by producing green house gases via fossil fuels. I believe the grass movement can stop the inefficient use of our natural resources. I believe the public can stop wasteful practices and contamination from those wanting to profit from fossil fuels. Their is nothing to say that breakthroughs will come and hydrogen can be produced efficiently with renewable sources. However, saying we can use NG now for hydrogen and the breakthroughs will come later, well lets just say big oil has many avenues to delay these breakthrough s much like they have done in the past. Early on they help ban the use of alcohol for use in ICE. They purchased battery patients they had no intention of using or making profits from. Once they get NG use for hydrogen on a large scale they will not want any other way to get hydrogen even if it is better for the environment. They have used ingenious ways of delaying alternatives. Purchasing politicians is another tool they use. Once they get their claws in you can't get them out no matter how bad it is for the public and the national debt. The nation can go bankrupt as long as the fossil fuel corps get profits, it is okay. There are those that will cheer them all the while they are doing bad things. It becomes a vicious circle. Look what happened to Pichar Oklahoma.
          PeterScott
          • 5 Months Ago
          @DaveMart
          "So in your world it is not relevant to consider how other countries are tackling the same issue, using the same technological base?" Does Japan have the same wind resources as Germany? I think we already know Japan isn't going to build a bunch of Nuke plants like China. Japan has unique challenges, which is why I wonder where Japan is planning to get Hydrgen from.
          DaveMart
          • 5 Months Ago
          @DaveMart
          Hi Spec. Have you any other slogans you wish to share? They are so wonderful in enabling the avoidance of actually thinking!
          DaveMart
          • 5 Months Ago
          @DaveMart
          Well, not only did you apparently fail to ask yourself whether Toyota and the Japanese ministry had thought about where supplies were to come from, and there are a lot of other sources as well as the couple of huge ones I have itemised, but now you seem to be unwilling or unable to put together the probabilities of being able develop different technologies. I am old enough to remember when the deep waters of the North Sea were at the boundary of technology, and many doubted whether oil could ever be extracted there, at any rate profitably. Methane hydrates for better or worse are largely further development of existing technology. Solar from hydrogen is a big jump, but an heck of a lot less than those who imagine that renewables can provide a very large amount of our energy needs without using intermediate storage, which pretty well means hydrogen and its products. The ones who are actually going for a very high proportion of renewables such as the Germans certainly don't imagine that they can make it work without a very developed hydrogen economy.
          DaveMart
          • 5 Months Ago
          @DaveMart
          Germany has truly lousy renewables resources. Almost anywhere is better, including Japan. For instance peak output of solar in Germany coincides with lowest demand, whilst in the depths of winter when demand is high only trivial amounts of solar are available. In Japan the summer peak in demand is much higher than winter, so that around 30GW of peaking solar power could reasonably be installed although of course excessive use of land would have to be avoided. Since it is a land of volcanoes and Germany isn't, geothermal is of course a much more readily accessible resource. Wind resources in Germany are pitiful, and don't approach those readily available in the US until you go offshore, which is where Japan plans most of its build. LTAW details some of the numerous other sources Japan plans to tap, some of them presently simply wasted, to which I would add methane from sewage, a surprisingly large resource. Of course if you had simply googled it you would have found out where Japan intends to get large amounts of methane from, instead of approaching it with a closed mind.
          DaveMart
          • 5 Months Ago
          @DaveMart
          So in your world it is not relevant to consider how other countries are tackling the same issue, using the same technological base? You are comfortable dismissing what is fundamentally largely an extension of the offshore oil and gas industry as fantasy but equally comfortable in imagining that somehow, magically, renewables could cover most of our energy needs without either hydrogen storage or massive use of fossil fuels as 'back up?' Since nowhere in the world is this being attempted, then there seems likely to be a flaw in it. That flaw is that what you are suggesting is pure fantasy, with no known or prospective means of doing it. Of course I am assuming that you are not advocating simply building massive amounts of nuclear power, which could work. Somehow I don't think that is your style. Hazy dreamworlds are a better fit, it seems.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 5 Months Ago
          @DaveMart
          Japan plans first to source hydrogen that would otherwise be wasted. "Hydrogen fuel can be produced in various ways, including from coal, oil, natural gas and biomass. But if conventional fuels are used to produce hydrogen, it loses its environmental advantage. The government hopes to eventually produce hydrogen from water using electricity from hydro, wind, solar and geothermal energy." “It’s not going to happen any time soon. At first, we’ll use the byproduct of hydrogen from oil refineries and chemical plants,” said Masami Hihara, deputy director of the industry ministry’s Smart Community Policy Office. “But we should be prepared for when demand takes off, or we wouldn’t see any innovations,” he said. "A project to produce hydrogen from low-grade coal in Australia has been proposed with the resulting CO2 captured and stored underground, Mr. Hihara said. A local government in Russia has approached Japan with a project to use their abundant hydro-power to produce hydrogen fuel, he added." http://blogs.wsj.com/japanrealtime/2013/12/26/aiming-to-repeat-hybrid-success-japan-funds-fuel-cell-stations/
          Spec
          • 5 Months Ago
          @DaveMart
          "In my view successful exploitation of this resource is likely on the same kind of time scale as establishing a fuel cell industry." Yes! Indeed! LOL. Fuel of the future . . . . and you know the rest.
          MikeThinker
          • 5 Months Ago
          @DaveMart
          I guess the question is are we going to let Toyota commit Seppuku, by expanding a highly potent green house gas. Here's a URL you might be interested in: Now imagine it continue to get worse for the next 5 years, as it has for the last 5 years: http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu
    • Load More Comments