Japan and China Seek to Forge Hydrogen Ties That Defy Geopolitics

February 21, 2023|Hydrogen

Hydrogen-fueled power generation is an integral part of both Japan’s and China’s strategy for the clean energy transition through 2050. Japan is betting on hydrogen as a reliable and cost-effective replacement of fossil energy that’s less exposed to geopolitical risks. China needs decarbonization solutions that can rapidly be built and scaled up to meet the voracious energy needs of a country with 1.4 billion people.

Despite rising geopolitical tensions, China and Japan are also trying to manage and coordinate their efforts for the development of hydrogen energy. The latest efforts in this regard took place at the 16th Japan-China Energy Conservation and Environment Forum, held earlier this month.

The annual forum had its hiccups. It was delayed by two months and finally organized on a Japan national holiday. Keynote speeches by senior government and business leaders contained remarks expressing discontent on certain policy issues, such as semiconductors. In contrast, the mood in the hydrogen session was positive.

The hydrogen sector in the two countries seems keen to collaborate and resolve technical and cost challenges. As Japan NRG joined the forum, we couldn’t help but feel that these resolutions could in turn beget fresh policy conflicts.

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