Iwatani International recently held their first hydrogen energy forum aiming at the hydrogen energy society of tomorrow.

The Hydrogen Energy Systems Society of Japan (HESS) Association, and the fuel Cell Commercialisation conference of Japan supported the forum.

Many subjects were discussed at the event including, oil, electric power, petroleum coke, and costs of production, transportation and storage. Speakers from all types of industries announced their opinions of a hydrogen future.

Speakers at the forum included Mr Akiji Makino, president of Iwatani, with an opening speech and Haruhiko Ando, director, Agency for Natural Resources and Energy of the Ministry of Economy Trade and industry whom gave a talk following greetings by other attendees.

Yoichi Kaya, vice president of the Research Institute of Innovative Technology for the Earth (RITE) gave his views in the session, stating: $quot;If competition with electric power is taken into consideration, development of a demand which operates directly with hydrogen is important for the spreading in use of hydrogen technology.$quot;

Ikutoshi Matsumura, managing director of the R&D division of Nippon Oil said: $quot;The price of crude oil will move along at $50-$60 a barrel until around 2020.$quot; He went on to discuss costs of transport, station, and oil refining.

Professor Ken Okazaki of the graduate school of Tokyo Institute of technology noted: $quot;With an investment of $1bn, a 500 MW hydrogen turbine located in Carson, a suburb of Los Angeles is scheduled to go into operation in 2011. It will gasify 5,000 tons a day of petroleum coke and produce hydrogen.

$quot;There are firms which are making decisions and implementing them for the sake of the earth for just several years from now.$quot;

Mr Kenichiro Ota, chairman of sponsor HESS summed up saying, $quot;Secondary battery technology is making progress but in the future, use of chemical materials which drive out fuel cell might be difficult. Hydrogen FC technology is still not yet fully established but the price is quite sufficient to tackle what lies ahead.$quot;