It’s being hailed as the world’s largest demonstration project of its kind; hydrogen fuel cell systems have been installed at 150 houses in southern Japan.
The Fukuoka Hydrogen Town model project is the beginning of what organisers say will be the largest hydrogen-powered city in the world.
Two residential housing communities in Maebaru City, of southern Japan's Fukuoka Prefecture, are running on hydrogen fuel cells, as part of a pilot project to test the feasibility of such a power source.
In October 2008, Nippon Oil Corporation and Seibu Gas Energy Co. began installing 150 ENE FARM power generation units in houses across Maebaru.
The generation units are 1 kW-class, and utilise hydrogen in liquefied petroleum gas.
The systems can cover around 60% of a home’s power consumption and around 80% of its hot water supply.
In total, energy consumption will be reduced by about 30% over conventional systems, and carbon dioxide emissions will be cut by up to 30%.
By 2015, Nippon Oil hopes to lower the price of its household fuel cell systems to around 500,000 yen [US$5,500] and raise sales to 40,000 units a year.