The Aichi Low-carbon Hydrogen Supply Chain Promotion Association, a body which includes the Aichi prefectural government, companies operating within the prefecture, municipal authorities, and experts, has developed the Aichi Low-carbon Hydrogen Supply Chain 2030 Vision.

The goal of all entities is the realisation of a hydrogen (H2)-based society spanning the entire region through mutual coordination and all-inclusive efforts.

As a first step toward realising the 2030 Vision, Aichi Prefecture, Chita City, Toyota City, Chubu Electric Power Co., Ltd., Toho Gas Co., Ltd., Toyota Motor Corporation, and Toyota Industries Corporation have launched the Chita City and Toyota City Renewable Energy-use Low-carbon Hydrogen Project.

Building on the national Strategic Roadmap for H2 and Fuel Cells as well as the Basic Hydrogen Strategy, the 2030 Vision aims to achieve a H2-based society ahead of the rest of country, leveraging the prefecture’s experience and expertise in monozukuri (all-encompassing approach to manufacturing).

The project is designed to construct a subsistent low-carbon H2 supply chain to produce, supply, and use H2 generated from renewable resources within the prefecture, as the first step toward achieving the 2030 Vision. In this project, Toho Gas is expected to produce city gas using biogas generated from sewage sludge at the Chita City Southern Sewage Treatment Centre, which is then transported to Toyota’s Motomachi Plant through existing city gas pipelines. The city gas derived from biogas is passed through gas reformers at the Motomachi Plant, whereby low-carbon H2, which is used to power the Toyota Industries fuel cell forklifts (FC forklifts) in the plant, is produced, compressed, and stored. Additionally, by supplying Toyota with renewable energy from Chubu Electric Power generated at the Toyota City Togari Clean Center through heat from waste incineration (biomass incineration heat), CO2 emissions from city gas that would be used when there is a biogas shortage can be offset.

The association believe that such efforts are meaningful, not only for this project, but also for expanding the amount of renewable energy that will compose the upstream process of the supply chain. In order to increase awareness of this supply chain, Aichi Prefecture has established a Low-Carbon Hydrogen Certification system that certifies H2 produced using renewable energy as “low-carbon H2.” The Project received certification today becoming the first project to be certified.

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Division of roles by entity

  • Aichi Prefecture: Coordination among project members; certification of low-carbon H2 production plan; certification of produced H2
  • Chita City: Supply and sale of biogas generated from waste treatment at the Chita City Southern Sewage Treatment Centre to Toho Gas
  • Toyota City: Supply and sale of renewable energy generated from biomass incineration heat at the Toyota City Togari Clean Centre to Chubu Electric Power
  • Chubu Electric Power: Purchase of renewable energy from Toyota City; supply and sale of renewable energy to Toyota
  • Toho Gas: Purchase of biogas from Chita City; supply and sale of city gas derived from biogas through existing pipelines to Toyota
  • Toyota: Reform city gas derived from biogas purchased from Toho Gas; produce, compress, and store low-carbon H2; utilise low-carbon H2 for fuelling FC forklifts at the H2 station in the Motomachi Plant; purchase renewable energy from Chubu Electric Power, which would offset CO2 emissions from city gas used when there is a biogas shortage
  • Toyota Industries Corporation: Manufacture FC forklifts and sell them to Toyota

The project is designed to transport renewable energy, such as biogas used for H2 production, through the existing energy infrastructure of city gas pipes and the electrical grid to produce and supply H2 near where it is used. This will allow costs to be reduced by eliminating the amount of capital investment necessary for the facilities required to compress and transport H2, as well as their maintenance expenses, and to achieve early commercialisation through the use of existing energy infrastructure.

In the future, in addition to discovering and using biogas and developing new renewable resources, such as biomass power generation and wind power generation, the association intends to expand the deployment of FC forklifts and the use of H2 through the early introduction of industrial-use fuel cells and small-scale H2 generation inside plants. In anticipation of increased demand for H2 in the future, we will create a new sustainable business model based on the project and promote the 2030 vision to work on achieving a low-carbon society in Aichi Prefecture.