Thereís growing demand and political will to develop commercial-scale hydrogen infrastructure in Japan and a group of students may have discovered a way to make this a reality.
Japan has a vision of becoming a carbon-neutral, hydrogen-fuelled society by 2040 - one of the most ambitious hydrogen energy plans in the world.
How could an efficient hydrogen energy plant work in reality, given Japanís limited, densely populated area?
Over the summer, a team of international students descended on DNV GLís Oslo headquarters to develop an innovative solution: harvesting hydrogen from seawater in the windy waters north of Japan, using floating offshore wind turbines.
Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe.
As an energy carrier, itís a zero emission fuel from creation to consumption.
But until now, the infrastructure has not existed to produce and store hydrogen at scale, making it too expensive to be a viable option.
With Japanís commitment to integrate hydrogen as a key fuel, thereís growing demand and political will to develop commercial-scale hydrogen infrastructure.
The timing was perfect for the summer students to investigate more efficient ways to source hydrogen.
Although designed for Japan, Jidai is not limited by geography or market.
As a standardised system the concept can easily be installed in other areas and be adapted to specific local conditions.
Furthermore, at scale the fuel produced would be cheap: Jidai is designed to produce 42,000 tonnes of hydrogen a year.
This equates to 400,000 commuters traveling 30km per day in fuel cell vehicles (which have already entered the Japanese market).
Itís the equivalent cost of Ä1.17 per litre of petrol.