Hydrogen Production through Water Electrolysis Using Power from Renewables

Hydrogen Production through Water Electrolysis Using Power from Renewables

Project Overview

Hydrogen can not only directly contribute to the decarbonization of the power generation sector by converting surplus power into hydrogen for storage and utilization, it can also maximize its potential as a zero-emission renewable energy power source. Hydrogen is therefore expected to be used as a secondary energy source for achieving carbon neutrality and contribute to decarbonization in industrial fields such as raw material utilization and heat demand where decarbonization through electrification is difficult.

To promote the social implementation of hydrogen, supply costs must be reduced by increasing the size of supply facilities while also creating large-scale hydrogen demand. However, since long-term hydrogen demand is currently uncertain, it is difficult for private companies to make large-scale investments in infrastructure. To reduce this uncertainty, a social implementation model must be established that can increase supply and create hydrogen demand by maximizing use of existing infrastructure. One such model focuses on the utilization of water electrolysers for self-consumption and hydrogen utilization in nearby areas.

To achieve this social implementation model, as well as establish a domestic hydrogen production base and develop markets overseas, the aim of this project is to develop technologies at a close-to-commercial level that will realize alkaline type water electrolysers at a cost of 52,000 yen/kW and PEM type water electrolysers at a cost of 65,000 yen/kW.

Project Features

Technology development for increasing the size of water electrolysers, and Power-to-X large-scale demonstrations

In order to realize technologies capable of reducing the cost of alkaline type and PEM type water electrolysers by 2030, R&D will take place on technology for increasing in size and modularizing scalable water electrolysers that can be mass produced, technology for mounting important components in water elecrolysers, such as membranes and catalysts, and technology for efficient system operation methods to replace fossil fuels and raw materials with hydrogen in industrial processes that use water electrolysers.

Establishment of performance evaluation technologies for water electrolysers

Technologies will be developed for evaluating stack performance, including levels of efficiency and durability, under various operating conditions (e.g., output fluctuations by simulating renewable energy and high-voltage operations) for alkaline type and PEM type water electrolysers.

Project Summary


Up to 70 billion yen

CO2 Reduction Effect (World)

In 2030
Approximately 40 million tons/year
In 2050
Approximately 1,520 million tons/year

Economic Effect (World)

In 2030
Approximately 0.4 trillion yen
In 2050
Approximately 4.4 trillion yen

Research and Development Targets

Electrolyzer capital cost

In 2030
Alkaline 52,000 yen/kW
PEM 65,000 yen/kW

Assumptions regarding estimates of CO2 reduction effect and economic effect

  • Hydrogen produced by electrolyzers is expected to mainly be used for heating.
  • Hydrogen is expected to replace imported natural gas, which emits less CO2 than other fossil fuels such as oil and coal, with equivalent heat values.
  • Estimates of hydrogen production have been calculated on the basis of the assumption that electrolyzers with the following capacities will operate at the rate used for Germany’s national hydrogen strategy:
    In 2030: 70 GW (total value from major countries and regions which have established targets for the installation of electrolyzers).
    In 2050: On average, electrolyzers are expected to be installed at the rate of 88 GW/year.
  • Estimates of economic impacts have been calculated using the following costs for electrolyzer installation:
    In 2030: 58,500 yen/kW
    In 2050: 50,000 yen/kW

Project Implementing Entities

[Research and Development 1]
Technology development for increasing the size of water electrolysers, and Power-to-X large-scale demonstrations

  • Development of technology for increased size and modularization of water electrolysers
  • Development of technology for mounting superior new materials on equipment
  • Demonstration of decarbonization of heat demand, industrial processes, etc.
Large-scale Alkaline Water Electrolysis System Development and Green Chemical Plant Demonstration
  • ManagerAsahi Kasei Corporation
Development of energy demand conversion and utilization technology using a large-scale P2G system for achieving carbon neutrality
  • ManagerYamanashi Prefectural Enterprise Bureau
  • Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, Inc.
    TEPCO Energy Partner, Incorporated
  • Toray Industries, Inc.
  • Hitachi Zosen Corporation
  • Siemens Energy K.K.

[Research and Development 2]
Establishment of performance evaluation technologies for water electrolysers

Construction of technology platform for evaluation of water electrolysis under a renewable energy system environment
  • National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology